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MUCH that is extremely interesting, and a little that is 
romantic, is to be found in the history of the industry to 
which this book is devoted, and the authors hope that the 
records which appear in these pages of the rise and progress 
of the frozen and chilled meat trades will justify the publica- 
tion of this volume. Many works have appeared describing 
the beginnings and developments of the great wool industry, 
but nothing of an historical and exhaustive nature has ever 
been published in book form (although pamphlets and news- 
paper articles without number have been issued) about the 
frozen meat business. To provide food is, at least, as impor- 
tant as to supply clothing, and the one industry lends itself 
to description as readily as the other. 

The personnel of the pioneers who worked out the practical 
and technical problems of the preparation and transport of 
frozen meat successfully sometimes, frequently otherwise 
included men of a high order of intellect and character. To 
read Mr. Mort's speech, delivered on September 2, 1875, at the 
Lithgow Valley Works (see p. 20), is to be thrilled with some 
sense of the exaltation of spirit which must have inspired his 
hearers in contemplating the world-wide benefit to follow upon 
the exportation of Australia's surplus of meat, the hoped-for era 
so eloquently forecasted by Mort. The engineers engaged 
upon the freezing formulae, the shipowners endeavouring to 
alter their system to grapple with the new position created by 
the Strathleven shipment, the merchants and bankers in London 
applying themselves to the most important part of the whole 
trade marketing the meat deserve recognition in the printed 
page before the lapse of time destroys all records. It has been 
difficult enough, after thirty years from the starting point, to 


procure data sufficiently reliable to justify the title of this 

A chapter was written entitled " The Case for Frozen Meat," 
setting forth specifically the benefit which the new trade has 
brought to the world at large, but on consideration it was 
perceived that the whole of the book, including the illustra- 
tions, diagrams, and tabular and graphic matter in the 
appendices, formed a most complete "Case for Frozen Meat," 
and the authors venture to hope that their volume will assist, 
to some degree, in popularizing still further the use of frozen 
and chilled meat in the Northern Hemisphere, inasmuch as 
it draws attention to the able and distinguished men who 
pioneered the trade, to the sound quality and drastic inspec- 
tion of the meat before export, and to the excellent system 
under which the transport and marketing systems are conducted. 
The chapters have been written in a plain style, and technical 
treatment has been avoided in favour of the general treatise 
form. Great efforts towards accuracy have been made, and if 
some errors have crept in, the indulgence of readers is asked 
for. It has been, of course, the authors' desire to achieve im- 
partiality in discussing the work of the pioneers and in touch- 
ing on the later developments in which gentlemen and business 
houses engaged in the trade have been and are concerned. 

The part which the journals published in Australia and New 
Zealand took in helping forward the early efforts of the pioneers 
by opening their columns to articles and full discussion, deserves 
a special word of acknowledgment. At a critical time, un- 
doubtedly, this publicity was of considerable assistance to the 
growing industry. 

In order to procure information on trade questions, the 
authors, wherever possible, have gone to the fountain head, 
and they owe a heavy debt of gratitude to the many gentlemen 
and firms who have been appealed to. Hence they desire in 
the fullest and frankest way to return thanks for the prompt 
replies to the thousands of letters (over 4,000 in all) written to 
all parts of the world only in a few cases has information been 
withheld. Without such kindly assistance there would not 
have been any chance of this book being prepared. In par- 


ticular, acknowledgment is due to some of those whose names 
appear in the biographical section ; to Mr. Gilbert Anderson, 
Mr. George Goodsir, and Mr. P. B. Proctor, whose statistical 
reports have been drawn upon ; and to the leading firms of 
importers, agents, and merchants, in Great Britain, who have 
supplied practical commercial details for certain sections of the 
work. The special assistance of the following gentlemen has 
also to be acknowledged : Mr. R. H. Rew, Assistant Secretary of 
the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries : Mr. A. Scott, Secretary 
of Lloyd's Register of British and Foreign Shipping ; Dr. Sergio 
Garcia Uriburu, Consul General for Argentina in London ; 
Mr. H. W. G. Millman, Clerk and Superintendent of the London 
Central Markets ; Captain T. R. Mowat, of Messrs. Johnson's 
Sons and Mowat ; Mr. Hal Williams, M.I.Mech.E., M.I.E.E. ; 
Mr. M. T. Brown, B.Sc. ; Mr. E. R. Baines, of the Port of London 
Authority ; Mr. T. Douglas Huggett, of the London Daily 
Telegraph, and Mr. Louis H. Furniss, Secretary of the Incor- 
porated Society of Meat Importers. 

The plan on which the book has been prepared is, broadly, to 
touch on the historical part, with a sketch of the conditions 
which gave birth to the industry, and the personages and 
leading events figuring in the frozen meat story as re- 
frigeration's aid was found practicable for conveying the surplus 
meat of the Southern Hemisphere to supply the scarcity of the 
Northern. The sequence of chapters takes readers to the con- 
sideration of the commercial methods under which frozen and 
chilled meat is transported and handled, and sold in Great 
Britain. The endeavour mainly has been to describe the 
various stages through which frozen meat passes from the time 
it is placed on board the steamer until it reaches its predestined 
goal, the meat retailer's shop in England or Scotland. 

With regard to the pictures appearing in the book, freezing 
works are more useful than ornamental, but it has been 
thought that to give illustrations of some of these works would 
be a fitting accompaniment to the written descriptions of the 
meat freezing industry. Ships, real argosies of the ocean when 
food-freighted on account of the workers of the Homeland, 
need no apology for their presentation in picture form. Many 


of the pioneers' portraits will be found in the book, and the 
photographs of some of the leading merchants and importers 
at present engaged in the trade are also given. It is fitting 
that in a work of this kind these men, whose business energy 
and capital have done so much to build up the trade to its 
present commanding position, should receive this special 
recognition at the hands of the authors of the History of the 
Frozen Meat Trade. 

The Index and Appendices have been compiled in a very 
detailed form, and it is hoped that the particulars therein 
contained, as well as the information recorded in the twenty- 
nine chapters, will make this volume a useful and necessary 
work of reference. 

The authors acknowledge, with thanks, the courtesy of the 
proprietors of the journals named below, in giving permission 
for the use of photographs : Engineering, for the two views of 
the La Negra Works on p. 82 ; the Cold Storage and Produce 
Review, for the portrait of M. Charles Tellier ; Syren and 
Shipping for the illustration of the El Zarate on p. 344 ; 
Ice and Cold Storage for the picture of the insulated van 
on p. 344 ; and the Canterbury Times, New Zealand, for 
the page view of the Islington Works of the Christ/church 
Meat Company on p. 66. 


Easter, 1912. 





Earliest Statistics of Home Supplies Official Anxiety Early 
Attempts at Preserving Meat Australian and New Zealand 
Surplus of Stock Boiling Down and Tinning The United States 
of America export Frozen Beef in 1874 Foundations of Argen- 
tina's Herds and Flocks Problem of the Pampas How it was 



Mort, his Dreams and Achievements James Harrison The 
Bell-Coleman Machine Tellier's Shipment per Friyorifique in 
1876 The Pioneer Shipment of Frozen Meat to Europe per s.s. 
Paraguay in 1877 The Strathleven'$ Historic Shipment Australian 
Exports in the Early 80's New Zealand's Part The Dunedin 
Brydone's Forecast. 



Lines of Development Queensland, its Works and their 
History New South Wales' Enterprises Chilling Up-Country 
Victoria South Australia and Western Australia. 



Tho New Zealand Refrigerating Company, formed at Dunedin 
in 1881 Canterbury Frozen Meat Company Gear Meat Company, 
Wellington Nelson Brothers' Freezing Works Christchurch 
Meat Company Wellington Meat Export Company Establish- 
ment of the other Freezing Works in New Zealand The Opera- 
tions at a New Zealand Meat Works. 



Development Statistics The Live Cattle Trade and its Stoppage 
River Plate Fresh Meat Company and its Founder San Nicolas 
Works James Nelson and Sons Compania Sansinena de Carnes 
f'ongeladas The Falkland Islands and Patagonia Beef from 





Evolution of Mutton Sheep in Australasia Mr. J. C. N. 
Grigg's views Argentine Imports of Pedigree Stock. 



The Argentine Way Australasian Methods Buying and Selling 
Forward How the c.Lf. Trade is Worked Grading Eates and 
Freights From Ship to Cold Store. 



New Zealand Inspection Australian Argentine The Im- 
perfect Inspection of Meat killed in the United Kingdom 
Public Health Regulations An International Standard wanted. 



The Eomance and Statistics of Eefrigerated Shipping The First 
Fleets The Shaw-Savill Company, the New Zealand Shipping 
Company, and the Shire Line Pioneer the Frozen Meat Carrying 
Trade from New Zealand Evolution of the Frozen Meat Carrier 
The Shipowner as Merchant Freights Multiplicity of Marks 
Frozen Meat Bill of Lading How the Australian Shipowners 
took up the New Trade The First Befrigerated Steamers and 
when they sailed The Methods by which Eiver Plate Frozen 
Meat was first shipped to Europe The South American 
Eefrigerated Fleet of the Present Day. 



The Producers' Supineness Early Insurance Covers Claims, 
Surveys, and Allowances The A 1 Clause Underwriters' Move 
to Eeform Three Views of Meat Insurance Appeal to the Courts 
Insurance Details Surveyors' Duties Classes of Damage. 



The First Installation in London Docks Stores At Smithfield 
Nelson Brothers' Undertakings Union Cold Storage Company 
Other Cold Stores. 

1 , . . 





Beaching the Store Periods of Storage Mark* Cold Storage 
Rates Dividends Responsibilities and Risks Finality of the 
Storekeepers' Weights. 



Smithfield and its Wide Interests Old Kmithfield An Historical 

Picture The Central Markets and their Growth The Japanese 

Village Evolution of Marketing Methods The American Invasion 

London Corporation's Claims in 1904 Trade Operations 

Prices for the Day. 



How the Betail Trade is Divided The Producer the Would-be 
Retailor New Zealanders' Eyes on the Retail Business Lamb 
r. Mutton Retailing Beef A Census of Retail Shops The 
Multiple Shop System. 



The Argument for Outports South American Meat and Liver- 
pool The West Coast Service Beview of Liverpool's Facilities 
Manchester Cardiff Bristol Hull Glasgow Serving the 
Provinces vi& London. 



Early Attempts on the Continent The French Market A 

Record of Enterprise in Germany Austria Belgium Other 

European Countries Customers in the East The Stimulus of 

- r<>lil Storage in South Africa The Mediterranean Garrison 

Ports as " Customers "What the Future may hold. 



('hilling contrasted with Freezing First Trials from Australia 
and New Zealand Argentina in the Field Sterilizing Australian 
Shipments in 1909, 1910, and 1911. 





Statistical Comparison of Producing Countries' Exports 
Australia's Progress Australia's Clientele New Zealand's 
Progress Retail Schemes Early New Zealand Prices South 
American Beginnings Chilled Beef The Argentine Freezing 
Works' Anntis Mirabilis Eandom Jottings: 1890-1908 War 
Office and Frozen Meat Rival Methods of Distribution Con- 
trasting Sale Systems Producers' Conferences False Trade 
Description Meat Marking Rise and Fall of the North American 
Dressed Beef Trade. 



Congress of Refrigeration South Africa as a Meat Exporter 
Lord Bacon's Frigorific Experiment Frozen Beef from St. Helena 
Hereford Steers at I8d. an Ounce Frozen Mutton at the Lord 
Mayor's Show Kosher Frozen Meat An Early Welcome to 
Frozen Meat Enter Mr. Hooley A Cargo in Coffins A Frozen 
Meat Cooking Recipe A Frigid Message Thyroid Extract 
Tallerman Enterprises Frozen Meat Squibs. 



" Flourishing on Frozen Meat " The Pedigree Foundations of 
Freezing Stock Scientific Tests Dietetic Excellence Preserva- 
tion by Refrigeration Medical Officers' Testimony. 



(Specially contributed by Mr. John Cooke.) 

Early Methods of Disposal of Cattle and Sheep Surplus Frozen 
Meat Exports lead to Increased Land Values The Drought of 
1902 The Benefit to Wool Growers Source of Income to the 



(Specially contributed by the Right Hon. Sir Joseph Ward.) 
The Launching of the Trade Statistics of Growth from 1882 to 
1910 Frozen Meat and the Prosperity of the Dominion. 





(Specially contribute! l.i/ Mr. Herl*rt (itl>tm.) 
Pre-Freesing Day* Early Pastoral Wealth The Growth of 
Flocks and Herds Fint Freezing Effort* I >rabble's Enterprise 
Expanding Production of Chilled Beef Argentina's Possible 
Thirty Millions of People by 1950. 



Early Meat Prices Lord Onslow and the Beefsteak Club 
Refrigerated Meat's Part in the National Consumption London's 
Benefit The " Upper Ten "Frozen Meat and the Army. 



Mr. TurnbulTs Special Article: 1880 Compared with 1910 
Comparison of Prices The Breeds Question The Effects of 
Frozen Meat Imports A Yorkshire Farmer's Plaint The 
Splendid Pedigree Stock Export Trade The Farmer's Position 
Under Free Imports. 




The Call for a Trade Society The Frozen Meat Importers' 
Association formed in 1894 Succeeded in 1895 by the Frozen 
Meat Trade Association Disclosing Stocks The Weekly Prices 
Cable The Charter and the New Name- List of Presidents and 
Vice- Presidents. 



The Principles of Mechanical Refrigeration Early Discoveries 
Some Leaders Air Compression and Chemical Refrigerants 
Insulation Modern Refrigerating Devices Temperature Measure- 
ment and recording The Cold Storage Chain Railway Refrigera- 
tor Cars Barges Defrosting Processes. 



A Collection of Short Biographies. 





The Home Market's Demands Extending " The World's mine 
Oyster " Dead Meat the Trade of the Future British Capital to 
be still Further Invested in the Industry New Zealand Lamb 
Prospects Australia's Possibilities South America's Meat Export 
Outlook Looking Forward A Final Word about the Australasian 
and Argentine Systems. 



Sketch of the Trade : its Base and Fall Shown Statistically 
Cattle Diseases Act, 1896 Foreign Animals Order, 1910 
Australia's Abortive Experiment. 


Meat Offals from North America, Australasia, and Argentina 
Full List of American Meat By-Products. 


Supplies Dissected and Tabulated Value of "Customers" 
outside the United Kingdom to the Frozen Meat Trade. 



Reproductions of the Weekly Quotations of July 2, 1897, and 
July 7, 1911. 

Tabular List with Capacities. 


With Key and Capacities. 


Complete Tabular Statement of the Situation, Ownership, 
Equipment, Capacities, etc., of the Meat Freezing Works in 
Australia, New Zealand, and South America. 


Full Liat of Shipping Lines carrying Chilled and Frozen Meat, 
with Total Capacities. 


APPENDICES continual. 


Yearly Totals from 1880 to 1910. 

MARKET) FROM 1883 TO 1910 



Yearly Totals from 1874 to 1910. 


British Patents Granted to Inventors between 1819 and 1876 
Special List Prepared from the Patent Office Records. 

INDEX 433 


The Steamship StratkUve* Fruntitpiece 

Thomas Sutcliffe Mort Portrait and Statue .... Facing Page 18 

James Harrison Portrait and Monument 22 

Charles Tellier Portrait, and the u. Frigorifiqv* . . . 26 

Portrait Mr. Andrew Mcllwraith 80 

The Bailing Ship Dunedi* and Captain Whitson . . . 40 

Thomas Brydone Portrait 44 

The Freezing Works of the Queensland Meat Export Co., 

Brisbane and Townsville 48 

The Murarrie Freezing Works, Brisbane 60 

Bird's-eye View of the Rirerina Freezing Works 54 
The Freezing Works of Messrs. Thomas Borthwick and Sons 

(Australasia), Ltd., Portland, Victoria, Australia . . . 56 

The Picton Freezing Works of the Cliristchurch Meat Co. . . ., 60 

The Gear Co.'s Freezing Works, Wellington .... 62 

The Freezing Works of Messrs. Nelson Brothers, Ltd., at 

Oisborne, New Zealand ........ 64 

The Islington Freezing Works of the Christchurch Meat Co. . 66 

The Freezing Works of the Wellington Meat Export Co. . 68 
The Freezing Works of the Oisborne Sheep-Farmers 1 Frozen 

Meat Co 70 

Portraits The late Mr. George W. Drabble ; the late Senor 

Eduardo Olivera ; Dr. Emilio Fren 76 

The La Negra Freezing Works, Buenos Aires .... 82 

The La Negra Freezing Works (Interior) 82 

The La Plata Frigorifico (Interior) 84 

The San Gregorio Freezing Works, Patagonia .... ., 88 

John Grigg, of Longbeach Portrait and Statue 94 
The 3,000-guinea Shorthorn Bull, imported into Argentina in 

1906 96 

The 1,450-guinea Lincoln Ram, imported into Argentina in 

1906 98 

" Prime Canterbury Lamb " 106 

Captain Noakes's Mechanical Conveyor 112 

Facsimile Reproduction of Australasian and Argentine Inspec- 
tion Labels 118 

F.M. b 


Section of the s.s. Onoestry Grange Facing Page 126 

The 8.8. Remiiera 130 

The 8.8. Rangatira ,, 134 

The s.8. Argyllshire 138 

The 8.S. El Argentina 142 

The s.8. Suevie 144 

Smithfield Market 182 

Old Smithfield , 184 

Smithfield Market Interior, and North Entrance ... 188 

Smithfield Market View from Charterhouse Street ... 192 

Portrait Sir Joseph Ward, P.C ,. 302 

Mr. John Cooke 302 

Mr. Herbert Gibson 302 

Sir Alfred Scale Haslam 332 

Diagrams The Compression and Absorption Systems of 

Refrigeration 334 

The Bell-Coleman Refrigerating Machine ... ., 336 

Portrait Professor Carl von Linde 338 

Mr. T. B. Lightfoot 340 

Diagram Thermograph Temperature Log .... 342 

Insulated Motor Van built for the La Negra Works ... 344 

Refrigerated Steam Lighter El Zarate 344 

Portrait Mr. Gilbert Anderson ., 352 

Sir Thomas Borthwick, Bart 354 

The late Sir E. S. Dawes, K.C.M.G 362 

Mr. H. S. Fitter 364 

The late Mr. J. H. Geddes 366 

Mr. George Goodsir ,. 368 

Captain H. E. Greenstreet 370 

Mr. Richmond Keele 372 

The late Mr. E, L. Johnson 374 

Sir E. M. Nelson, K.C.M.G 376 

Mr. William Nelson 378 

The late Mr. G. F. Swift , 386 

Mr. J. J. Thomson 388 

Mr. William Weddel 390 





IT must be rather difficult for those who are engaged in the 
various branches of the great overseas frozen meat trade to 
realize that only thirty years separate them from the time of 
the foundation of what is now recognized as one of the most 
important of the world's industries. A commerce that unites 
continents, and is an essential factor in the progress of human 
civilization to-day, might well be believed to be more than a 
generation old, but it does not need a student of history to recall 
that this is not the case. 

The industry that hangs on the slender piston-rod of a 
refrigerating machine, yet feeds nations with a regularity that 
defies famine, had its birth within the recollection of many 
who are not yet old. The great changes it has wrought in the 
world during the first three decades of its existence make all 
the more interesting some preliminary inquiry into the circum- 
stances which led to its establishment. 

Before coming to the conditions which directly gave rise to 
and immediately preceded the refrigerated meat industry, it 
may be well to deal somewhat fully with two subjects not 
completely bearing upon the title of this book, though not by 
any means foreign to it, (1) the dwindling flocks and herds in 

F.M. B 


Great Britain for some decades prior to the frozen meat era ; 
and (2) the canned meat industry in Australasia. This trade 
represented the first attempts of the colonists to ship beef and 
mutton to the old country, and was the evolutionary form of 
the great meat industry, the real and lasting development of 
which was to be the preservation and export of meat under 
conditions of refrigeration. 

A Nation's Need. 

It was, of course, the demand for greater meat supplies that 
called for the discovery of some means for the safe delivery of 
those supplies. The uneasiness that was felt respecting the food 
supply in England became very marked by the early fifties, 
and the gradual growth of the manufacturing industries made 
it clear that Great Britain must be an increasingly important 
meat consumer. Manufacturing demanded energetic, flesh-fed 
men, but meat supplies and their prices were on a most unsatis- 
factory basis for a generation before the establishment of the 
great overseas dead meat trade. 

Official statistics of the flocks and herds of the United 

Kingdom at the middle of the nineteenth century do not exist ; 

in fact, no official enumeration of live stock was made in the 

United Kingdom before 1867. But the estimates of Mulhall 

and McCulloch were, no doubt, fairly accurate. According 

to Mulhall, in the ten years 1851 1860, the decade in which 

meat imports were first brought into the United Kingdom, 

the average production of meat beef, mutton, and pork in 

England, Scotland, and Ireland was 910,000 tons, which gave 

72 Ibs. per head per annum ; this was supplemented by an 

average import of live cattle furnishing 44,000 tons, making 

in all 75 Ibs. of meat per head of population yearly. In the 

1861 1870 decade the average home production of meat had 

increased to 1,036,000 tons, and imported meat to 131,000 

tons. It is significant that the home production of these 

meats showed no increase from that point up to the days of 

the beginnings of frozen meat imports. In the year 1882 the 

home production was 1,090,000 tons, and the Continental and 


overseas supplies had grown to 654,000 tons ; these quantities 
yielded a per capita annual supply of meat equal to 110 Ibs., 
<>: which the imported supply claimed 43 Ibs. The home- 
produced meat in 1882 consisted of 690,000 tons of beef, 
305,000 tons of mutton, and 95,000 tons of pork, and the 
imported meat was still mainly in the form of live cattle and 
sheep. The population of the United Kingdom in 1851 1860 
averaged 28,265,000, and had grown by 1882 to 35,606,000." 

The following totals of the food animals of the United King- 
dom cattle, sheep, and pigs together may be useful as a 
record and as showing the decline in home stocks between 1867 
and 1880, the arrest of that fall, and restoration to the figures 
of 1867, brought about by the importation of live and dead 
meat in the period of thirty years up to 1910 : 

18511855 .... 40,676,000 (Mulhall) 

1867 46,770,524 (official) 

1880 42,974,261 

1910 46,491,521 

So, prior to the introduction of frozen meat, supplies of home 
stock were being overtaken by consumption, and it was plain 
that the inhabitants of England would have to be content 
with less meat or pay fancy prices for it, or arrange for largely 
increased supplies of dead meat to be brought across the seas 
to be sold at a moderate price. 

Mulhall helps us again in showing how, with stagnant home 
supplies of meat, the price advanced. In the ten years 
1851 1860, the " average " of the wholesale " prices " of first 
quality meat beef, mutton, and pork together was 6%d. 
per lb., during the next decade it had risen to Id. per lb., and 
in 1882 the " price " was 8|d. per lb. A parliamentary return 
issued in 1911 gives the following average prices for beef of 
first quality : 1851, 4jrf. per lb. ; 1861, 6fd. per lb. ; 1871, 
Sd. per lb. ; and 1881, 8d. per lb. 

It is interesting to examine the meat import movement into 
the United Kingdom of the last fifty years. For the quin- 
quennial period 1861 1865 the average quantity of fresh beef, 



mutton, and pork imported amounted to only 0*1 Ib. per 
head of the population. The coming of frozen meat in 1880 sent 
up the average imports for 1881 1885 to 3'5 Ibs. For the 
five years 1891 1895 the average imports were 12'4 Ibs., and 
for 1906 1910 each unit of the population was provided for 
to the extent of 28 Ibs. of fresh meat imported from British 
possessions and foreign countries. 

Harking back to the days of 1850-1860, the difficulty that 
lay ahead had not escaped official notice, for about 1860 the 
Privy Council discussed the question of the national food supply, 
and numbers of societies and institutions followed the lead thus 
given. In 1863 the Privy Council laid down a rule " that, to 
avoid starvation diseases, the weekly food of an average adult 
must contain 28,600 grains of carbon and 1,300 grains of 
nitrogen." Dr. Brown, in " The Food of the People," published 
in 1865, wrote : " The plague spot, the skeleton in the closet 
of England, is that her people are underfed." This condition 
of things was accompanied by the abuse which one would 
expect, terrible and shameless adulteration, and the poor were 
further defrauded by traders giving short weight. 

The most practical step in the direction of providing a more 
ample food supply was the formation of a committee of 
the Society of Arts, which first met on December 21, 1866. 
Amongst those present were Messrs. H. C. E. Childers, M.P., 
Harry Chester, W. Ewart, M.P., Benjamin Shaw, and Lord 
Robert Montagu, M.P. As early as 1853 Mr. Chester, in 
delivering the centenary address of the Society, asked why 
Australia should be content with exporting wool and tallow, 
" and not the mutton itself to the hungry masses of this 
country ? " The proceedings at the committee's meetings 
make most interesting reading. The committee subdivided 
itself into four sections : meat, milk, fish, and cooking. That 
was the time when canned meats were on their trial. Mr. C. G. 
Tindal, Mr. Robert Tooth, Mr. McCall, and others, were ex- 
amined, and explained their processes. Dr. Bancroft's " pem- 
mican " and Mr. Alexander's powdered beef were tested. (Both 
these gentlemen were Queenslanders.) The committee found 
that, weight for weight, the dried beef was four times more 


nutritious than ordinary beef. It was stated that 200 patents 
had been registered for preserved meat processes, so widely 
reco^ni'/A'd was the scarcity of meat in Kn^land. All njrts of 
ideas were expounded to the committee. Medlock and Bailey 
averred that by dipping meat in their bisulphide of lime 
solution " anything of animal origin, from a beefsteak to a 
bullock, from a whitebait to a whale, can be preserved sweet 
for months." Possibly the bullock and the whale might have 
objected ! C. Nielson proposed to fix blood in the form of 
sausages, puddings, cakes, and so on. The Rev. M. J. 
Berkeley delivered a stirring address on fungi, but somehow 
the mushroom palliative failed to impress the committee as a 
substitute for the roast beef of Old England. De la Peyrouse's 
idea was to pack meat in barrels, and to pour in fat at a tempera- 
ture of 300 F. all round the stored viands. Professor Gamgee 
loomed large, and his method, though revealing a touch of 
Max Adeler, certainly possessed genius. He suggested that 
cattle should be happily dispatched by being made to inhale 
carbonic oxide gas, at a cost of 2s. to 3s. per animal. The 
flesh of oxen so slain was declared to retain its fresh and 
bright appearance, and the committee reluctantly and warily 
tasted chops from a sheep killed in this way, reporting, doubt- 
less to the chagrin of the Professor, that the meat was " slightly 
flat." A tin of meat forty-one years old, from the stores of 
H.M.S. Blonde, was tested and found sound. Professor 
Redwood advocated raw meat preserved in paraffin. 

Scores of different processes for tinning meat were tested. 
Dr. HassalTs " Flour of Meat," Australian " mutton hams," 
meat dried by sulphurous acid, and many other inventions, 
were put before this committee, evidence which contained 
the germs of many of the modern methods of preserving and 
handling animal substances for food. The committee's records 
are packed with good things. For instance, we hear of the 
stimulus given to the Australian tinned meat trade by the 
Franco-German war. In October, 1875, two huge tin-lined 
cases of meat arrived from Melbourne, 30 Ibs. of meat, in 
joints, in each case. The meat was wrapped in prepared calico, 
and the whole packed in charcoal. Alas ! on opening, the 


Melbourne meat " was found to be in an advanced state of 
decomposition." As far back as 1843 the Society of Arts gave 
its medal for attempts made in Australia to render down the 
lean of meat by means of the water bath and the introduction 
of the extract in a solid form. Samples of this extract were 
sent on a voyage to Buenos Aires and back, and failure 
resulted. This, the authors believe, was the earliest attempt 
made in Australia to preserve meat for export. 

It was a matter for regret that this committee of the 
Society of Arts, after a vigorous and most useful campaign 
of fifteen years, came to a sudden stop in 1881. In that 
year the committee delivered a gloomy report, and found itself 
unable to award the 100 prize which Sir Walter Trevelyan 
had presented for the best means of preserving fresh meat. 
This 100 was disposed of by being divided into five sums of 
20 and granted to food and cooking exhibits at the 1884 
Health Exhibition. Without doubt, the introduction of frozen 
meat in 1880 settled the whole difficulty which the Society of 
Arts' committee had spent so many years in trying to solve, 
and it could only have been blindness to facts the success of 
the Strathleveri's trial was common knowledge in 1881 that 
made the committee in its report neglect its obvious duty 
of stating that the introduction of frozen meat removed all 
its difficulties. Emphatically, Sir Walter Trevelyan's 100 
prize should have been awarded to Thomas Sutcliffe Mort, of 
Sydney, as Chapter II. of this volume will show. 

It may be remarked at this point, where attention has been 
drawn to the necessity of Britain, already fully stocked with 
cattle and sheep, looking abroad for her further needful food 
supplies, that, apparently, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, 
and Switzerland are reaching, or have now reached, the same 
stage in their economic development. In the early part of the 
twentieth century the peoples of these Continental countries are 
making the same investigations as to the nature and source 
of their future imported meat, and entering upon the same 
struggles in their initial efforts to secure supplies from the lands 
of the south, as did the inhabitants of England in the sixties 
and seventies. 


Surplus of Live Stock in the Southern Hemisphere. 

So much for a nation's need and the experimental and un- 
practical efforts made to relieve it. Next may be considered 
the circumstances in the countries in the Southern Hemisphere, 
Australia, New Zealand, and Argentina, from which, to a 
limited extent by means of meat preservation, and eventually 
more thoroughly through refrigeration's aid, the real relief was 
to come. 

In Australia and New Zealand in the seventies sheep had 
increased so rapidly in number that it was apparent that, as a 
wool producer only, the full value of the animal was not being 
realized. The flocks grew, the population remained small, and 
there was no means of adequately dealing with the surplus 
stock. It was in the eventful period 1868 to 1879 that the 
frozen meat trade had its genesis, when Harrison and Mort in 
Australia, and Tellier and Carr6 in France, were experimenting, 
and when the successful voyage of the Strathleven set all doubts 
at rest as to whether the surplus meat of the New World could 
be brought in a perfectly fresh and sound state to supply the 
shortage in the Old. 

Tinned meat export had been instituted in Australia prior 
to the establishment of the frozen meat trade, and of this 
collateral industry some brief particulars as to its pioneering 
may be given here. 

Apropos of meat tinning or canning, it is interesting to note 
that the first person to preserve meat in closed jars by employ- 
ing heat was a Frenchman, Appert. Earliest mention of his 
process occurred in 1809. At first glass bottles were used, 
and soon afterwards iron tins (English patent 3,310, 1810, 
H<ine). The soldered tins made of tinplate were introduced 
through the French brothers Pellier about 1850. The great 
German chemist, Liebig, gave a lead to the Australian pioneers 
of the canning industry by applying chemistry to the invention 
of extract of beef. Replying to an inquiry as to whether 
Liebig ever studied the problem of applying cold to meat 
storage and transport, Dr. L. Geret, of the Liebig Co.'s scien- 
titir department, Antwerp, reports that Liebig never considered 


refrigeration in this connection. In Liebig's " Chemical 
Letters " (Vol. XI., 32nd letter, p. 139, 4th edit.) he alludes to 
the surplus cattle in Australia and the River Plate as " merely 
export material for tallow and hides production." Liebig's 
first experiments on a commercial scale in the manufacture of 
extract were carried out in the River Plate about 1863 or 1864. 
Mr. G. C. Giebert was the first general manager in South 
America of the Liebig's Extract of Meat Co. 

The first men to preserve meat by practical tinning methods 
in Australia were the late Henry Dangar, of the Hunter River, 
New South Wales, and his brother, the late William Dangar, 
of Turanville, Scone. Discontented with the wretchedly low 
values of cattle they had sold a mob of splendid bullocks in 
Sydney for 2 12s. Qd. a head in 1846 Messrs. Dangar set 
about starting tinning works. Towards the end of 1847 they 
began operations at Honeysuckle Point, near Newcastle, New 
South Wales. Mr. Charles Gedye was manager ; the meat was 
packed in 4 Ib. and 6 Ib. tins, and hermetically sealed, the tins 
being painted and labelled in London. The meat (beef, 
mutton, tongues, and soup and bouilli) sold readily in London, 
and the Admiralty took quantities of it. The factory was 
carried on with success meat at first cost only fd. per Ib. but 
the gold discoveries in 1851 raised the price of cattle to such a 
prohibitive figure that the works were closed early in the 
fifties, and now Honeysuckle Point is covered with dwelling- 
houses. Messrs. H. E. and M. Moses, of New South Wales, 
were also canning meat about that time. 

In 1850 there were 110 boiling down establishments in 
Australia, and the production of tallow was enormous. The 
sheep slaughtered for this purpose numbered 800,000, cattle 
73,000 : the tallow exported in that year was close on 11,000 
tons, valued at 301,000. At one works (Russell's, Hunter 
River) 12,000 sheep were boiled down in four weeks. In 1851 
the scale of boiling down enterprise greatly increased, and 
probably about 10 per cent, of all the sheep in Australia fell 
victims to this wasteful process in that year. Dr. Lang, one 
of Australia's ablest pioneers in the problems of public life, 
religion, and education, inveighed against " this wholesale and 


enormous destruction of valuable animal food going on in New 
South Wales for eight years. . . . Viewed in connection with 
the fact that there are millions ' at home ' on the brink of 
starvation, this destruction is discreditable to Great Britain 
ami her rulers, and cannot but be peculiarly offensive in the 
sight of Heaven." 

The tinning trade was certainly a useful outlet for the surplus 
sheep and cattle in the early days. A few years before the 
time when the millions of visitors to the Great Exhibition of 
1851 were confronted with Australian tinned mutton, cattle 
in the grazing regions of Australia were worth only 2 to 4 per 
head, but the gold discoveries of 1851 proved a time of blessing 
to cattle owners, prices then going up to 8 to 10 per head. 
But the increasing flocks were ever a problem to the Australian 
sheep farmer. Boiling down for tallow, the earliest method 
of supplementing the pastoralist's returns from his wool, was a 
crude system, with strict limitations. The following table 
gives some idea of how the pastoralists and graziers of Australia 
stood with regard to their local market, and why they were 
forced to find markets abroad : 





















After Messrs. Dangar's meat tinning enterprise of the 
late forties, not much appears to have been done in Australia 
till 1865 and 1866. In the former year Mr. Robert Tooth 
began making extract at Yengarie, Queensland, and Tooth's 
Extract of Meat Co. (London Bridge) states that Messrs. 
Allen and Hanbury were the consignees of the first parcel 
to be imported, on July 24, 1866. About 1875 Mr. Tooth 
retired from the business, and devoted himself to sugar 
growing in Manila. Mr. C. G. Tindal, a pioneer in meat 
preservation, studied Liebig's works when he was a young man, 
and came across a chemist at Clapham named Deane, who was 


making splendid extract and selling it at 35s. per Ib. ; Brady, 
of Newcastle, and Reynolds, of Leeds, were making a cheaper 
extract. Mr. Tindal worked with Deane for some time, and 
then began making Liebig's extract of meat at Ramornie, New 
South Wales, on September 13, 1866. From that year manu- 
facture and export have been continuous. Mr. Alban Gee, 
the present manager of the Sydney Meat Preserving Co., 
went out from England to Ramornie in 1866, and the late 
Mr. Thomas Cordingley went to the same place in 1872. In 
1875 Mr. Cordingley started preserving mutton in Botany Bay, 
and later, supported by Mr. Tindal, he formed the North Queens- 
land Meat Export Co. at Alligator Creek, North Queensland, a 
successful concern now working under the management of Mr. 
Harold Cordingley. Mr. C. G. Tindal, in answer to an inquiry, 
writes as follows : " I hold an autograph letter from Baron 
Liebig on the subject of making his extract, which has been 
made use of in two trials at law, and which established the 
right of myself and other makers to call the extract we make 
4 Liebig's Extract ' throughout Great Britain. But the Law 
Courts on the Continent decided against us." 

The Melbourne Meat Preserving Co. was formed in 1868, 
Mr. S. S. Ritchie, who had been a partner with Mr. John 
McCall, of London, being mainly instrumental in its establish- 
ment. Messrs. J. McCall and Co. were intimately associated 
with the building up of the tinned meat trade. 

The Sydney Meat Preserving Co., Ltd., of Sydney, which was 
a concern established in 1869 for the purpose of preventing the 
fluctuation of the price of fat stock brought to the Sydney 
market, has a paid-up capital of 20,315, and reserves amount- 
ing to 67,684, but no dividends are paid upon the capital. The 
mode of operation is for persons who send stock to Flemington, 
Sydney, to allow the Sydney Meat Preserving Co. a rebate of 
2J per cent, on its purchases ; this, in ordinary years, means 
an eighth of a penny per Ib. The payment of this rebate is 
not a compulsory charge, and is not allowed by all the persons 
who sell stock, but all the larger stockowners allow the rebate 
to the company. The purchases of stock vary, of course, 
from year to year, in accordance with the condition of the 


market ; if the markets are good, very little stock is purchased. 
The account up to June 30, 1910, shows that during tin- 
ln \ half-year the company bought 498,609 sheep and 
1,472 cattle. The stock purchased by the company are killed 
at its yards. None of the meat is sold, but the whole of the 
carcasses are canned or turned into tallow, so that the purchases 
of the company do not come into competition with those of the 
ordinary butchers. 

Australian canned meat began to be known to the British 
public by the year 1867. Before that time preserved meat 
had only been used by the services, by explorers, and on 
sailing ships, but it appealed to the public very soon after 
the first imports came along the Midlands took a great 
fancy to it, and clamoured for it. Shipments were easily 
absorbed. No American meat of any kind was imported 
during the sixties, and Australia was the pioneer of the 
tinned as she was of the frozen meat trade. South American 
tinned meat was first imported in 1871. Boiled mutton was 
the principal article turned out when the business began, and 
corned beef was also shipped. The growth of this trade 
was remarkable ; in 1867 the United Kingdom's imports from 
Australia were 286,526 Ibs., in 1868 no less than 878,444 Ibs., 
while in 1869 they advanced to 2,000,000 Ibs. In 1880 Great 
Britain imported 16,000,000 Ibs. of canned meat. 

The position in New Zealand was much the same as in Aus- 
tralia, there being a large surplus of sheep which the small 
population was quite unable to deal with profitably. After 
shearing it was not an uncommon thing for the old and inferior 
animals to meet the fate of the Gadarene swine. Boiling down 
works were the first means introduced to deal with this surplus, 
and on many of the stations in New Zealand are still to be seen 
the primitive plants erected for that purpose. There was, of 
course, enormous waste ; the sheep were kept during the flush 
of grass in the summer and then boiled down for tallow wool 
and tallow were the only products. All sorts of plans were 
tried ; legs of mutton packed in tallow were shipped to England, 
and although the meat arrived in good condition, the enter- 
prise failed. 


The next step was canning. About 1869 a large company, 
the New Zealand Meat Preserving Co., established works 
in various districts Templeton, Styx, Kakanui, Washdyke, 
Green Island, and Woodlands, in the South Island, and in 
a few North Island centres, though at that time the North 
Island carried but few sheep. At these works the best joints 
were preserved, and the rendering of tallow from the rest of 
the carcass was also carried on. Preserving was rough and 
ready, as there was no chilling process available to hold the 
meat for any time. All the offal and the skin were wasted. 
Owing to unreliability of quality, the canning business did not 
pay, and all the works were ultimately closed down. The sheep 
industry in New Zealand at this period was unprofitable ; the 
surplus animals often went for 6d. or Is. per head, and, as a rule, 
the measure of value was the skin on their backs. Various 
attempts were made to preserve meat by chemical and other 
means, but were not successful, and from 1865 to 1882 run- 
holders in New Zealand had a very bad time. It is a matter 
of great regret that very few of them were able to stand 
against the adverse conditions till the better day brought by 
the frozen meat export trade had dawned. 

The population of New Zealand at the start of the frozen 
meat trade was about 500,000, and the statistics of New 
Zealand's herds and flocks from 1851 to 1881 are as follow : 





















* Approximate. 

The Real Genesis of Meat Export. 

Australia and New Zealand were not, of course, the only 
countries striving to " realize " on their surplus live stock, and 
the United States of America was the first country to inaugurate 
a meat trade dependent on artificially cooled storage during 


transport. That this was a welcome industry to America goes 
without saying, seeing that in 1874, when beef was first 
exported to Great Britain, cattle on farms in the United 
States of America numbered 27,000,000 the population was 
well under 50,000,000. Undoubtedly, the real genesis of the 
meat export trade under conditions of refrigeration is to be 
found in the shipments of chilled beef from the United States 
of America in the seventies ; by the end of 1880, when only 
400 carcasses of mutton had reached home from Australia, Great 
Britain had imported from North America 120,000 tons of fresh 
beef. (See pp. 190, 191, for other references to this trade.) 
But as the general conditions and lines of development of the 
North American chilled beef trade were so widely different 
from those associated with the Australasian and South 
American frozen meat trades, extended references to it do not 
come within the scope of this book. 

Argentina : The Problem of the Pampas. 

One can go back a long way in tracing the introduction and 
history of the cattle and sheep which roam the pampas of the 
Argentine Republic. The progress of this great industry, the 
backbone of Argentina's prosperity, must have been inter- 
woven with adventure and romance ; of this we get an 
occasional glimpse in reading the scanty literature which may 
be consulted by anyone wishing to acquaint himself with the 
intermediate steps between the fine freezing stock now entering 
the frigorificos and the first stock introduced into the Republic, 
which introduction took place in the sixteenth century. 

One Captain Nuflo Chaves brought the first sheep to 
Argentina in 1550. As to horned stock, Juan de Salozer y 
Espinosa introduced in 1552 seven cows and one bull, which 
are said to have been the foundation of the mighty herds 
that are scattered over the Campo to-day. Spanish colonists 
soon settled in the Plate district, and Juan Torre de Vega 
y Aragon, recognizing the suitability of the pampas for 
stock breeding, distributed 4,000 cows and bulls and 4,000 
sheep amongst the colonists. Soon the herds and flocks 


went beyond the needs of the small population, and even in 
those early days the question of export was mooted to relieve 
the congestion caused by overstocking. But the ideas of the 
cattle-owners did not soar beyond hides, to export which to 
Spain and Brazil the " Governor and Captain General of the 
province of the River Plate " issued licences. This was the 
position in 1616, when the ship Our Lady of Refuge left Buenos 
Aires with 1,281 hides, valued at 10,248 reales about 117. 
So, three hundred years ago, pastoral products were of little 
account in the River Plate. From the first the herds and flocks 
multiplied enormously, and in the seventeenth century it was 
recorded that " all the wealth of these inhabitants consists in 
their animals, which multiply so prodigiously that the plains 
are covered with them, particularly with bulls, cows, sheep, 
horses, mares, mules, asses, pigs, deer, and other sorts, in such 
numbers that, were it not for the dogs that devour the calves 
and other tender animals, they would devastate the country " 
a sort of internecine strife between the animals that preceded 
the latter day organized onslaught of the frigorifico. 

Mr. Herbert Gibson, in his book on " The Sheep Breeding 
Industry in the Argentine Republic," states that " sheep were 
neglected and despised. They were almost classed with wild 
beasts and fowl, looked upon as public property, and allowed 
to roam at will, and increase or die off as the years were clement 
or severe." They were of two classes, the pampa sheep, 
descended from the mountain long- wools imported from Spam, 
and the criollo, the much degenerated descendants of the 
Spanish merinos. It is curious to note that the two great 
sheep countries of the world, Australia and the River Plate, 
introduced the improved Spanish merino at the same date. 
In 1794 Don Manuel Jose de Labarden exported ten rams and 
twenty ewes from Spain to the Banda Oriental (the old romantic 
name for Uruguay), which at that time was one of the provinces 
of the River Plate Viceroyalty. In 1813 Mr. Henry Lloyd 
Halsay imported 100 improved Spanish merino sheep and 
founded the first fine-woolled merino flock in the province of 
Buenos Aires. The first introduction of English sheep took 
place in 1825, with the purchase of thirty Southdowns, and 


the first Lincolns were imported in the forties. Particulars 
in detail of British pedigree stock imported into Argentina will 
be found on p. 98. 

Harking back to the general position of live stock, the 
estancieros had now to consider how to find an outlet for 
the enormous herds of cattle and flocks of sheep that were 
running almost wild over the River Plate plains. Some 
bold spirits about 1717 started a large salting works at 
Buenos Aires, and the beef was exported. In 1794 the live 
stock breeders of Buenos Aires and Monte Video presented 
a petition to the Minister, Don Diego Cardogin, urging the 
free exportation of tallow and jerked beef, the trade to be 
assisted by the introduction of " eight or nine hundred Irish- 
men, bachelors and Roman Catholics." In the early eighties 
so great was the congestion of the sheep that in one case a 
flock was driven to the coast and a portion were precipitated 
over the cliffs into the sea. By 1822 the export trade in hides, 
tallow, and wool, had grown to a total for the year valued at 
$3,300,000. We find news of increasing quantities of salted 
meat passing through the Buenos Aires customs house for 
export from 1862 (357,860 quintals) to 1866 (430,781 quintals). 

The importance of this trade to-day is seen when it is 
stated that nearly one-half of the cattle of Argentina depend 
on the up-river saladeros, where the number slaughtered 
exceeds the total number handled at the frigorificos such 
is the importance of the Argentine salted and jerked beef 
business. The first Shorthorns were imported in 1865 by Don 
Juan N. Fernandez a historic event. The foundation of the 
Argentine Rural Society quickly followed, and marked the 
systematizing of the laudable efforts of cattle farmers who had 
already commenced to convert the primitive cattle raising 
business into a well-organized and intelligent pastoral industry. 
It was from 1850 to 1860 that the importation of pure-bred 
stock was started on a commercial scale for the purpose of 
improving the herds of Argentina. In 1868 the Government 
of Argentina offered $8,000 for the discovery of a practical 
means of preserving fresh meat, and in 1877 the export duties 
on fresh meat were suspended for five years. In 1882 these 


duties were abolished. It may be interesting to give here the 
figures of the four official stock censuses that have been 
taken in Argentina : 







At this stage of the great Argentine Republic's live 
stock industry, the estancieros perceived that the means 
hitherto employed of dealing with the ever-increasing surplus 
of animals were both unscientific and obsolete. Boiling 
down, the last resort of the stock breeder, was found to 
be as unprofitable as it was wasteful, and in the seventies 
the sheep of Argentina had increased to such an extent 
that even this desperate remedy for the accumulating flocks 
failed to dispose of the surplus. The saladeros' profitable 
consumption of cattle was also found to be limited. The ideal 
before the stock breeders was (1) to use their fat cattle and sheep 
to good purpose financially ; (2) to handle the surplus in such 
a way as would lead to a trade at once permanent and increas- 
ing ; and (3) to see to it that the new outlets should involve 
a steady improvement in the standard of quality of the herds 
and flocks. It was perceived that only one avenue promised 
the realization of these conditions the export of the Republic's 
stock to supply the needs of European countries, where 
fat sheep and cattle were few and men were many. So in 1874 
the export of live cattle and sheep began, and by the end of 
1879 close on 1,000,000 head of cattle and 165,000 sheep had 
been shipped away. On p. 75 appears a full statement of the 
rise and fall of this industry. 

The essay in 1876 of the steamer Frigorifique, with Charles 
Tellier at the helm, was possibly the stimulus which helped 
to set going the Argentine frigorificos on their successful 
career. (But the success of the Strathleven venture had more 
to do with it.) The steamer Paraguay, two years later, with 


frozen meat on board for the Old World, kept the ball 
rolling, and prepared the country for the real start in 1883 
of the great Argentine export trade in dead meat. When 
the River Plate Fresh Meat Co., at Campana, and Messrs. 
8. G. Sanainena and Co., at Barracas, built their meat works, 
the sheep of the country were by no means pretentious. 
"Woollies" were purchasable at $2 to $3 a head. The 
improvement of the Argentine sheep by the introduction of the 
pun --bred English Lincoln and other breeds was yet to come ; 
the average weight of the frozen carcass was 35 Ibs. This was 
confirmed by the fact that the Smithfield salesmen were wont 
to speak of the Argentine mutton carcasses when they first 
arrived as " rats." The advantage of exporting their stock 
in the form of dead meat, as compared with the live stock trade, 
was quickly appreciated by the cattle and sheep breeders of 
Argentina, who found, as the industry took root and expanded, 
that in the frozen meat trade they had found a way of dealing 
with their stock at once profitable, economic, and scientific. 

As the improvement in quality, both of sheep and cattle, 
became general, the frozen meat from the Argentine com- 
manded a better price in the home markets, and enabled the 
freezing companies to outbid the live-stock exporters even 
before the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in 1900 brought 
the trade of the latter to a termination. In subsequent years 
the average prices paid for wethers and steers have exceeded 
the highest ever obtained in the period when the live-stock 
exporter competed with the freezer, and the Argentine 
breeder is now persuaded that the dead meat trade is his 
most profitable market. The economy it represents is too 
obvious to merit discussion ; the labour employed in the 
factories, the hides, tallow, and offal that remain at the 
Argentine end, the economy in space and in freight, all com- 
bine to secure for the exporting country the maximum 
quantity of the total value of the animal. In the improved 
methods of handling and carrying the dead meat, its collection 
in cold storage in the Argentine and its distribution in the 
European markets, the River Plate has achieved the most 
scientific application of its commerce. 

F.M. c 



WITH the light of less than four decades shining on the 
brilliant achievements of those who played the part of pioneers 
in the frozen meat industry, the task of according each name 
concerned the exact importance it bears in relation to succeed- 
ing progress is not an easy one. For instance, while the date 
on which one inventor patented a certain freezing process may 
be prior to the launching of a scheme by another, pioneering 
pride of place may belong to a third whose foresight of the 
ultimate situation was clear, and whose early work, therefore, 
was more material in setting the industry on its legs. 

The work of the French chemist and engineer Carre must 
always be regarded for its early date ; James Harrison, whose 
record of early struggle, achievement, and failure, is tersely 
recorded in a Geelong cemetery, can never be forgotten ; while 
the efforts of Mort in Australia, and the Americans who 
established the earliest refrigerated trade across the Atlantic, 
must have a pre-eminence of their own. 

Thomas Sutcliffe Mort. 

The figure of Thomas Sutcliffe Mort stands out boldly 
amongst all the pioneers and experimenters in Australia and 
elsewhere whose efforts laid the foundations of the frozen 
meat trade. Mr. Mort cheerfully spent a large fortune in 
experimental enterprises in practical meat freezing, and his 
conception of the future that awaited the industry was 
prophet-like, so sympathetic and keen was his grasp of the 
subject as will be seen in reading the sentences extracted 
from his speech, which are given below. 

Mr. Mort was born at Bolton, Lancashire, on December 23, 
1816, emigrating to Australia in 1838, and later founding the 


faff p. 18. 


great financial and wool-broking firm of Mort and Co. This firm 
afterwards amalgamated with that of R. Goldsbrough and Co., 
Ltd., under the name of Goldsbrough, Mort and Co., Ltd. As 
early as 1843 Mr. Mort turned his attention to meat matters, 
and was later introduced by Mr. Augustus Morris to 
the French engineer Nicolle. The pair took up the subject of 
freezing meat for export, and experiments were conducted, 
Mort supplying the capital and Nicolle the engineering skill. 
Partial freezing, " chilling," Telh'er's plan, was tried and re- 
jected, as it was soon realized that thorough congealing was 
far preferable for the proper preservation of meat. Mr. Mort in 
1861 established at Darling Harbour, Sydney, the first freezing 
works in the world. Thirteen years later Mr. Mort's company 
became the New South Wales Fresh Food and Ice Co. The 
original freezing process at these works was applied in two 
large apartments, each about 75 feet square and 9 feet 9 inches 
high, and enclosed by brick walls 4 feet 6 inches thick. The 
freezing room below was used for the treatment of meat for 
export. In 1875 the collateral enterprise, the slaughtering 
works at Lithgow Valley, Blue Mountains, was completed : 
the two establishments were intended to supply the Sydney 
market. Ammonia compression refrigerating machinery was 
used at these works. 

At an inaugural lunch on September 2, 1875, at which 300 
persons attended, including Sir John Hay, the Hon. J. Docker, 
Sir Saul Samuel, the Hon. (afterwards Sir) John Robertson, and 
Mr. (afterwards Sir) Henry Parkes, Mr. Mort made his famous 
speech, the peroration of which stands out as a white stone in 
the annals of the Australian meat trade, clearly showing him 
to have been a man of imagination, noble aims, and high 
character. Mr. Mort in this speech said that Mr. Morris first 
suggested the " diabolical idea " of freezing meat to send to 
England. " I can tell you that not once but a thousand times 
have I wished that Mr. Morris, Mr. Nicolle, and myself had 
never been born." Mr. Mort mentioned that the Sydney 
Chamber of Commerce about 1867 had put up a sum of money 
for him to provide meat for distribution in England, and to 
overcome the English prejudice against " frozen " meat. (This 



reads curiously, for in 1867 not an ounce of (mechanically) 
frozen meat had reached England !) The meat upon which 
Mr. Mort feasted his 300 was, of course, all frozen, and he stated 
that some of it had been kept since June, 1874. He told his 
guests that Australia was destined to become the great feeder 
of Europe. 

" Before long France and England will look to us almost 
entirely for their supply of food." Mr. Mort suggested the 
breeding of Highland cattle, as this breed secured top prices 
in English markets. Mr. Mort's classic peroration must be 
given verbatim. 

" I feel, as I have always felt, that there is no work on the 
world's carpet greater than this in which I have been engaged. 
Yes, gentlemen, I now say that the time has arrived at all 
events, is not far distant when the various portions of the 
earth will each give forth their products for the use of each and 
of all ; that the over-abundance of one country will make up 
for the deficiency of another ; the superabundance of the 
year of plenty serving for the scant harvest of its successor ; for 
cold arrests all change. Science has drawn aside the veil, and 
the plan stands revealed. Faraday's magic hand gave the 
keynote, and invention has done the rest. Climate, seasons, 
plenty, scarcity, distance, will all shake hands, and out of the 
commingling will come enough for all, for ' the earth is the 
Lord's and the fulness thereof,' and it certainly lies within 
the compass of man to ensure that all His people shall be 
partakers of that fulness. God provides enough and to spare 
for every creature He sends into the world ; but the conditions 
are often not in accord. Where the food is, the people are not ; 
and where the people are, the food is not. It is, however, as 
I have just stated, within the power of man to adjust 
these things, and I hope you will all join with me in believing 
that the first grand step towards the accomplishment of this 
great deed is in that of which you yourselves have this day 
been partakers and witnesses." 

Mr. Mort is supposed to have spent 80,000 in connection 
with his freezing experiments, and 20,000 besides was put 
up by Australian squatters for a trial shipment to England 


about 1876, for which the sailing ship Northnm was chartered. 
Mr. Andrew Mcliwraith, who happened to be in Sydney at the 
time the vessel was being fitted with an ammonia installation 
similar to that used on land, supplies for these pages the 
following special account of this historic effort : 

" We found that a considerable space in the square of the 
main hatch had been bulkheaded off as a meat chamber. The 
insulation consisted of a 15-inch space between two bulkheads 
run in with tallow, and inside the chamber the cold brine pipes 
were fixed. It occurred to us as we went round that there 
was a danger of destruction to the meat in having the pipes in 
the chamber, should the movement of the ship strain the pipes 
and a leakage occur, and, as a matter of fact, that is what took 
place, but fortunately before the vessel left the harbour." 

The meat had to be discharged, thus making an end of the 
experiment before it had really begun. This failure was a 
terrible blow to Mr. Mort, and hastened his death. He died at 
Bodalla, New South Wales, in 1878, and to his memory a 
monument was erected by public subscription. Had Mort 
spent less time in research work on the mechanical side of 
refrigeration, his actual achievement in starting the new trade 
might have been greater. There were many engineers working 
out the scientific problems in Europe at the time, and had Mort 
depended on their labours rather than spending his time 
experimenting along with Nicolle, it is possible that the commer- 
cial beginning of the trade might have been in 1876 instead of 

Before passing to another pioneering record a word may be 
said about Mr. Mort's associate, Eugene Dominique Nicolle. 
Mr. Nicolle was born at Rouen in 1824, visited Australia in 
1853, and became manager for the well-known Sydney 
house, P. N. Russell and Son. In the days when Mort 
and Nicolle were actively engaged in overcoming the diffi- 
cult ies of meat and provision export (1860 to 1877), ice was 
imported from America, and Mr. Nicolle did interesting work in 
running a factory at Darlinghurst for the manufacture of ice by 
chemical process. As a preliminary to the placing on board 
ship of a freezing machine to be used for the frozen meat trade 


contemplated by Mr. Mort and himself, Mr. Nicolle erected a 
special chamber at the back of the Royal Hotel, George Street, 
Sydney, where the process was tested for fifteen months. 
Negotiations were first opened up with the owner of the well- 
known trader Whampoa, but fell through when it was heard 
that liquefied ammonia was to be the freezing agent. In the 
same year as Mr. Mort died, Mr. Nicolle retired from busi- 
ness and settled on Lake Illawarra, where he died a com- 
paratively short time ago. 

James Harrison. 

James Harrison, another Briton who made Australia the 
scene of pioneer work in meat freezing and also in the manu- 
facture of ice, was born in Glasgow in 1816, the same year 
as Mort first saw the light. That Harrison deserves place as 
one of the pioneers, if not the pioneer, of the frozen meat trade 
admits of no shadow of doubt. In an article in the Melbourne 
Age (of which important journal Harrison was editor for 
some time), written in 1893, at the time of his death, on 
September 3, 1893, aged 77, at Geelong, occurs this passage : 
"It is a striking proof of his insight that he was the first to 
see the enormous source of wealth that lies still undeveloped 
in the export of meat from the Australian pastures. The very 
industry which Mr. Russell tells us has pulled New Zealand 
out of the shoals into calm water was receiving Mr. Harrison's 
strenuous advocacy thirty years ago." Long before the year 
indicated by the Age (1863) Harrison was not only " advo- 
cating " but busily experimenting with his ice-making 

He emigrated to Sydney about 1837. In 1840 he settled at 
Geelong, " Australia Felix," as Victoria was styled in the early 
days taking up journalism, and in 1850, having some leisure, 
devoted himself to the working out of an ice-making scheme. 
He acquired land at Rodey Point, on the Barwon, and there 
erected his first ice factory at a cost of 1,000. In 1851 the 
brewing firm of Glasgow and Co., Bendigo, installed a refri- 
gerator of the Harrison type. This was the world's pioneer 
of such machines. Perceiving that the works were too small 

.i \\ii.s IIAI;I:I-IN. 


I'u f'.i,;- />. 


to make a commercial profit, Harrison travelled to London in 
1857. His two first English patents (see Appendix) are 
dated March 28, 1856, and September 10, 1857 ; two years 
previously the machine had been patented in Australia. He 
had corresponded with Faraday and Tyndall, and discussed 
freezing problems with those distinguished men. He also got 
into touch with Siebe Brothers, who had a jobbing foundry in 
Red Lion Court, Holborn, and Mr. Siebe made a large machine 
for him, which was taken to Hobson's Bay in the ship Tricolor 
on Harrison's return to Australia. It may be mentioned that 
Mr. H. J. West, an early inventor of refrigerating machinery 
and founder of the firm of refrigerating engineers which bore 
his name, was manager of, and later a partner in, the firm of 
Siebe Brothers, and knew Mr. Harrison well. Mr. West died 
in 1910. 

On his return to Australia Harrison devoted himself specially 
to meat freezing, and before attempting export he experi- 
mented in the preservation of meat for lengthy periods on land. 
At Melbourne, about 1873, he publicly exhibited his cold-pro- 
ducing machine, and by its means several carcasses of sheep, 
sides of beef, poultry, fish, etc., were frozen, and six months 
afterwards these viands were consumed at a public banquet. 

Like Mort, three years later, James Harrison failed when he 
put his process of meat preservation to the test of sea voyage, 
and the failure mined him. All the profits of his newspaper 
were eaten up in his experiments and by the disaster which 
befel the shipment when the 20 tons of mutton and beef placed 
on board the s.s. Norfolk went bad on the journey to London. 
The vessel sailed in July, 1873, from Sandridge Railway Pier, 
Melbourne ; the meat had been frozen on board in "two tanks," 
ice and salt freezing mixture being used to effect the refrigera- 
tion of the cargo. The tanks leaked, and when the vessel 
arrived at London in October the meat was unsaleable. This 
terrible blow, no doubt, crushed the inventor's spirit, as it 
ruined his fortunes, for he soon sought retirement in London, 
where he spent some years in scientific study. 

The refrigerating machine of Harrison's which was put to 
work in a paraffin factory in England in 1860 was probably 


the first refrigerating plant ever applied to a manufacturing 
process, though the Americans state that Professor Twining, 
about the same time, had an ether machine at work at Cleve- 
land, Ohio. The Patent Office is probably the best guide to 
settle priority in inventions, and, according to this, Harrison, 
excepting Perkins, whose 1834 patent never seems to have got 
beyond Chancery Lane, was years ahead of all rivals ; Carre 
was four years after him, Tellier eight years, Mort eleven, 
Little twelve, Pictet thirteen, and Postle seventeen years later, 
according to London Patent Office records. The accompanying 
reproduction of a photograph of the inscription on James 
Harrison's tomb at Geelong tells briefly the story of the man's 
great work. 

Mr. J. D. Postle must be numbered among Australian 
pioneers as an experimenter, about 1869, at Melbourne with 
the chilling of meat by means of an air compression machine. 
Evidence of the early spread of enterprise in the new industry 
is afforded by the fact that the Melbourne Australasian from 
1868 to 1880 contained a great mass of correspondence dealing 
with the earliest days of meat freezing and the merits of the 
various systems of refrigeration. 

The Bell-Coleman Machine. 

The name " Bell-Coleman " must, where meat freezing is 
concerned, ever remain an honoured one in the two hemispheres, 
for it was through the agency of a Bell-Coleman refrigerating 
machine that there was landed in London early in 1880 the 
first shipment of fresh meat ever successfully carried from 
Australia. In the career of Mr. (now Sir) Henry Bell is 
contained the history of this and other pioneering efforts in 
meat refrigeration, and some account of his early work has 
proper place here. 

Mr. Bell's first connection with meat refrigeration was when, 
early in 1877, he took up the Glasgow agency of the dressed 
beef shipping business from New York established by Mr. T. C. 
Eastman. To Mr. Eastman, by the way, must be given the 
credit of having first introduced chilled meat into Great Britain 
(vide a personal note below). The refrigerating process 


then used consisted in allotting 25 per cent, of the whole 
of the space occupied to an ice-container and filling the 
latter with blocks of natural ice, circulating through the ice a 
current of air by means of a fan. A modification, or rather 
elaboration, of this plan was patented by a Dr. Craven, and 
adopted for cooling the shipments of a Mr. Gillette, who sent 
meat across the Atlantic by some other lines of steamships. 
Dr. Craven's method consisted in using ice and salt, by means 
of which a lower temperature could be obtained than by ice 
alone, and this freezing mixture was used to cool brine cir- 
culated in pipes in the vessels' holds. 

Seeing the costly nature of iced transport, in which a quarter 
of the space paid for was not available for the meat cargo, to 
say nothing of the boats sometimes arriving with all their ice 
melted, Mr. Henry Bell and his brother James (now Sir James) 
Bell set themselves to study all the available literature on 
mechanical refrigeration, and decided in their own minds that 
refrigeration by means of cold dry air was the method most 
suitable for use on board ship. They approached Sir William 
Thomson (afterwards Lord Kelvin), who was then a professor 
at Glasgow University, and asked his advice as to whether it 
was practicable to use that method for the transport of meat. 
The professor said he thought it was, but that it would prove 
too costly, promising, however, to look into the subject if 
they would supply him with data as to the quantities to be 
carried. When he found that the figures were large, he agreed 
that there was a future in the business, but he added that he 
was too busy to take it up. This incident probably indicates 
how near Lord Kelvin's name was to becoming a household 
word in commercial refrigeration. The Glasgow professor 
said, further, that he would introduce the brothers Bell to a 
Mr. J. J. Coleman, and with the latter gentleman Messrs. Bell 
formed a partnership under the name of the Bell-Coleman 
Mechanical Refrigeration Co., and took out patents in 1877, 
the first being dated June of that year. 

The first ship on which Messrs. Bell and Coleman fitted their 
machine was the s.s. Circassia, of the Anchor Lane, in the 
American trade, in the spring of 1879, but in order to su 


the world that they could bring meat across the ocean they 
fitted up in the engineering works of Messrs. D. and W. Hender- 
son and Co., of Glasgow, a space similar to the 'tween decks of 
an ordinary steamer, and therein put meat and kept it chilled 
for ninety days, subsequently bringing it up to Smithfield 
market and selling it there. That consignment was kept at 
a temperature of 30 F. ; the cattle were slaughtered close to 
the chilling chamber, and the meat was not moved after it 
was put into the chamber, never being actually frozen. All 
through 1878 and 1879 the inventors were receiving meat 
from the United States on Mr. Eastman's account, cooled by 
freezing mixture. 

Queen Victoria's Approval, 

Although it is only an incident, it is worth mentioning here 
that as early as 1875 American chilled beef met with Royal 
approval. The following information received from Mr. F. 
Link, of the Central Markets, forms an interesting and a Royal 
reminiscence : 

" Mr. T. C. Eastman was the shipper, from New York in 
October, 1875, of the first lot of American chilled beef, and to 
him must be given the credit and honour of this innovation, 
undertaken at considerable risk and expense to himself. A 
baron of that beef was sent to Queen Victoria at Windsor 
Castle, and Eastmans, Ltd., have the Royal Seal in connection 
with that transaction. The Queen pronounced the meat ' very 
good.' The shippers of this early American chilled beef 
included Toffee Brothers, Gillette (Jersey City), Martin Fuller 
(Philadelphia), and Sherman (Philadelphia), and Mr. J. D. 
Link acted as agent for Mr. Eastman up to the time when 
Messrs. John Bell and Sons took over the agency." 

Charles Tellier. 

Having recounted the early efforts of Mort and Harrison in 
Australia, one is tempted to proceed at once to a description 
of the first frozen meat shipment successfully finding its way 
from those shores to the Mother Country. It must not be 
forgotten, however, that refrigerating experiments were being 





carried on elsewhere, and it is well to review the part played 
by such a scientist and engineer as the Frenchman, Charles 
Tellier, who was responsible for a shipment of meat brought 
at a chilling temperature from Buenos Aires to Rouen as early 
as 1877, this being in fact the first meat cargo shipped through 
the tropics under refrigeration. Tellier was the inventor 
of an ammonia-absorption refrigerating machine as early as 
1859, and in 1867 he produced an ammonia-compression 
refrigerating plant. M. Tellier's first essay at shipping meat 
under refrigeration was in 1868. Financially supported by 
Mr. Francisco Lecocq, of Monte Video, he put an ammonia 
compression machine into the City of Rio de Janeiro. He 
shipped 300 kilos of beef from London to that city as a test, 
the intention being on the homeward journey to import meat 
from Uruguay into France. But twenty-three days out an 
irreparable accident occurred to the apparatus, and the meat was 
eaten on board. The temperature was 32 F. Next we come 
to the Frigorifique, a slow steamer, previously named the Eboe, 
210 feet in length, and with a meat hold 85 feet long, 25 feet 
wide, and 13 feet high. This was bought in Liverpool in 1875 
for 210,000 francs (8,400) by a company formed in France to 
import fresh meat from La Plata, Texas, or Madagascar. 
Three of Tellier's refrigerating engines were installed at the 
stern, and all the room forward of the engines was given up to 
cooled space for meat. The insulating material was powdered 
cork and chaff. The vessel sailed from Rouen on September 19, 
1876, and arrived at Buenos Aires on December 25, carrying 
some meat from France. " Dark spots " were reported on 
some of this meat when inspected by the deputy president of 
the Argentine Rural Society, who also said that " at table they 
gave us small dishes prepared from the meat, the flavour of 
the most part of it was rather unpleasant." (Turf, brought 
as ballast, was the alleged cause of this.) After considerable 
difficulty in " assembling " a return cargo of meat, the 
ship Frigorifique sailed for Rouen, where she arrived on 
August 14, 1877, after a voyage of 104 days : some of 
the meat when landed there had been preserved for 110 days. 
Le Rappel de Paris of December 2, 1877, stated that a 


certain portion of the meat did not arrive in good con- 
dition, and a " rather careful selection had to be made." 
But, it adds, " the problem was solved." No particulars are 
to hand as to the realization of the cargo, but the French people 
were indifferent, and even in those early days it was in England 
where there were the best chances of exploiting Tellier's 
process, for it seems that one of Mr. Tallerman's companies, 
the London Meat Importation and Storage Co., arranged to 
buy the Frigorifique and send her out again to South America. 
The negotiations, however, fell through, and the vessel experi- 
enced many vicissitudes, almost knocking down one of the Seine 
bridges on one occasion, and being put up for sale in May, 1879. 
A Mr. Robert MacAndrew was introduced to the Frigorifique 
company to finance it. Actually ten tons of the desiccated 
beef brought over by the ship reached London. " Not an atom 
of mould was on it," Mr. Tallerman says, and he adds : " the 
meat was like leather, and had lost 30 per cent, of weight, 
which was regained in cooking ! " This loss of weight may seem 
incredible. But in Harrap and Douglas's " Public Abattoirs 
and Cattle Markets " it is stated that a piece of beef 116 ounces 
in weight lost 50 ounces in 67 days (43 per cent.) by "air 
cooling." M. Tellier patented his process in all the countries of 
Europe, and in Victoria, Australia, from 1874 to 1878. 

The Shipment by the Paraguay in 1877. 

Although the shipment by no means marked the start of the 
refrigerated meat export trade from South America, the suc- 
cessful carriage of a cargo of frozen meat on the s.s. Paraguay 
from Buenos Aires to Havre in 1877 must be chronicled 
as actually the first entirely successful frozen meat shipment 
in the world's history. About 1860 an ammonia-compression 
machine called the " engine Carre " was constructed, an inven- 
tion with which M. Charles Tellier was in some way associated. 
M. Carre's name must stand out as that of the pioneer in Europe 
of the frozen meat trade ; for Tellier never brought his meat below 
freezing point, and the Argentine meat brought by the Frigori- 
fique was a thing apart nothing has ever since been seen like 


it. Records of the solitary attempt made by the "Society 
Jullien Company for the transport and preservation of fresh 
meat by means of cold (Carre-.! ullirn system), Boulevard 
National, 386, Marseilles," are fairly clear. Messrs. Jullien 
were shipowners, running vessels engaged in the Mediterranean 
fish trade. They fitted a Carre ammonia machine in the 
s.s. Paraguay, 1,120 tons. Captain Lefevre was in charge, 
the engineer was M. Lescornet, and the refrigerator was 
constructed by Messrs. Hanthonille, of Marseilles, from 
M. Carre's designs. The engineers were so determined to make 
a new departure and congeal their meat that they kept the 
temperature during the homeward passage at about 17 F. ! 
The chronicler says the meat was " petrified, as hard as a stone." 
Extraordinary precautions were taken with some meat sent 
out from France, as a test. The Argentine Vice-Consul at 
Marseilles sealed up the refrigeration chamber and the four 
quarters of beef and ten sheep therein. The vessel sailed on 
August 13, 1877, and arrived at Buenos Aires on September 29. 
The Paraguay commenced to take in her meat from San 
Nicolas for freezing on board on October 7, and she did not 
arrive at Havre till about May 7, 1878, owing to having been 
compelled to put into St. Vincent for repairs after a collision. 
There she stayed four months, yet she arrived at the French 
port with the meat in tip-top condition a marvellous 
performance for 1878 ! Her cargo consisted of 5,500 carcasses 
of mutton. The reporter at Havre was enthusiastic. " The 
congealing completely destroys the germ of putrefaction," he 
wrote, and the good people at Havre received the consignment 
with joy. The 80 tons were " used to the last morsel." The 
garrison troops feasted on it and, mirabile dictu, the Grand 
Hotel in Paris used the meat for a whole week. As the French 
were so ready to welcome frozen meat, and partook of it so 
freely, one concludes that the regulations now built up against 
its import must be artificial or engineered. The Jullien Co. 
prepared the Paraguay for a second essay on a grander scale 
(800 tons of meat), but, as Dr. Pierre Berges has recorded, 
" as it happened, the project was never realized, and this new 
industry of the freezing of meat was abandoned by the French." 


Dr. Berges says, a little bitterly, in another place : "As has 
often happened in the history of industries, it has been the 
French who have made the discoveries, and the English who 
have turned them to account to their profit. The refrigerating 
industry belongs to this number." A parcel of this meat was 
sent to London. Messrs. John Schmidt and Co., 69, Mark Lane, 
E.G., were the consignees, and the mutton was reported to be 
of " extraordinarily good flavour, but very small." Messrs. 
Jullien wished to build a fleet of steamers, 2,000 tons each, to 
convey to France Argentine frozen meat and remounts for the 
army. Had the French capitalists come forward, the whole 
course of the commercial genesis of the meat trade would have 
been altered. 

The StrathleVen. 

The Strathleven shipment was the outcome of an inquiry 
instituted early in 1878 by Queensland squatters, who, having 
heard of the Paraguay voyage from South America to Havre, 
cabled to London, and Mr. Andrew Mcllwraith and Mr. Beard- 
more Buchanan went to Havre to inspect the steamer. They 
reported adversely to the application to the Australian trade 
of the refrigeration system employed, and shortly afterwards 
Mr. Mcllwraith got into touch with Messrs. Bell and Coleman in 
Glasgow. Experiments were made with dry air at 30 F., 
which resulted in the conviction that Mr. Mort's freezing 
theories were correct. Negotiations were opened with Messrs. 
Bell and Coleman for a machine designed and arranged for ship- 
board, and Mr. Andrew Mcllwraith chartered the s.s. Strath- 
leven (gross tonnage 2,436) from Messrs. Burrell and Son, and 
installed the Bell-Coleman machine on board. The vessel 
sailed from Plymouth in 1879 under the control of Mr. James 
Campbell, a civil engineer, and Mr. Matthew Taylor Brown, 
B.Sc., went out as representative of the Bell-Coleman Co., 
and returned with the vessel on its epoch-making voyage. The 
captain was Mr. C. W. Pearson. Mr. (afterwards Sir) Thomas 
Mcllwraith, Mr. B. D. Morehead, and Messrs. William and 
Robert Collins were amongst the Queensland gentlemen who 
took a leading part in helping forward the movement, and 


To face ji. SO. 


Mr. Hastings Cuningham and Mr. George Fairbairn in Victoria 
rendered assistance, but Mr. Mcll wraith's firm, Mcll wraith, 
McEacharn and Co., bore the risk of the venture. 

The late Sir Malcolm McEacharn left London for Sydney to 
make all arrangements there for the Strathleven'a loading. 
The vessel sailed thence on November 29, 1879; Melbourne 
was made a second port of call, and the vessel left that port 
on December 6, 1879, for London, where she arrived on 
February 2, 1880, with 40 tons of beef and mutton. The 
meat had been frozen on board. One of the first persons to 
inspect the new commodity, destined to revolutionize the 
world's meat trade, was the produce representative of the New 
Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Co., and it was recorded 
in the market report of that company that " On inspection 
of the meat while the vessel lay in dock, it was found to 
be in a perfectly sound state, frozen quite hard and covered 
with an artificial rime." The representative was, however, 
doubtful about several things, including the possible early 
decomposition upon thawing, deficient flavour, and partial 
destruction of the natural juices. But, on the whole, 
he took a sanguine view, and his comments form the pioneer 
report upon a trade which has attracted the most exhaustive 
attention from commercial writers. The meat, which had cost 
from l^d. to 2d. per Ib. in Australia, was placed in the hands of 
Mr. J. D. Link, of Smithfield Market, and realized 4$d. to 5\d. 
per Ib. for the beef and 5%d. to Qd. per Ib. for the mutton. A 
lunch to celebrate the success of the venture took place on 
the Strathleven on February 6, 1880. Messrs. Andrew and 
Thomas Mcllwraith, Sir R. R. Torrens, Colonel Taylor, Messrs. 
W. Westgarth, W. Jordan, and E. Alford Wallace, amongst 
others, were present. A carcass of lamb was sent to Queen 
Victoria and a sheep to the Prince of Wales. A joint was 
given to the Travellers' Club, and the late Lord Hatherton 
happened to be lunching at the Club when the said joint was 
brought to table. He found it so good that he asked for 
another helping, and was surprised when he learned that 
the meat which he had enjoyed so much represented a hidden 
attack on his, or, rather, his tenants', industry. 


The newspapers and the trade gave a most friendly reception 
to this pioneer shipment of frozen meat ; the Times, the Daily 
Telegraph, the Morning Advertiser, the Mark Lane Express, the 
Globe, etc., were enthusiastic. The Daily Telegraph, in referring 
to the meat, wrote : "It has been tested by the ordinary 
methods of cooking, and found to be in such good condition 
that neither by its appearance in the butchers' shops, nor by 
any peculiarity of flavour when cooked for the table, could it 
be distinguished from freshly killed English meat." The 
following interesting credential emanated from the London 
Central Markets : 

This is to certify that we, the undersigned meat salesmen, doing business 
at the Central Meat Market, London, inspected the meat imported from 
Australia ex Strathhven. We found it in perfectly sound marketable con- 
dition, and it readily fetched prices averaging b^d. per Ib. Both beef and 
mutton were excellent in quality, for those of us who tasted the meat when 
cooked pronounced it tender, and its flavour very good. From the success 
which has attended this shipment, we are of opinion that similar supplies 
from Australia will find a large and ready sale in this market. 

(Signed) J. D. Tank. Wm. Bowyer. 

Hannah Ward and Co. Archer and Malthouse. 

Charles Mathew and Son. H. S. Fitter. 

B. W. Frost and Co. H. Killby and Sons. 

B. Venables and Sons. H. Hicks and Son. 

The Strathleven, after its historic voyage, was stripped of 
its refrigerating machinery and insulation, and was sold by 
Messrs. Burrell and Son in 1899 to Messrs. Abram and Addie, 
of Glasgow, who kept her running in the American trade. 
In January, 1901, she was lost in the Atlantic during a 
heavy gale while on passage from the Gulf of Mexico to the 

The Australian Frozen Meat Export Company. 

It was felt by the leading pastoralists of the Riverina district 
of New South Wales and of Victoria that this highly successful 
opening of the new trade should be followed up in a business 
way. Both the squatters and the mercantile community 
entered enthusiastically into the consideration of how to 
proceed in the most practical manner to exploit this industry. 
Meetings were held in Melbourne at the end of 1879 and in 1880 


at Scotts' Hotel, and Sir James MoCulloch, Sir Samuel Wilson, 
and Messrs. George Fairbairn, J. H. Douglas, J. L. Currie, 
Lloyd Jones, James Blackwood (Dalgety, Blackwood and Co.), 
Hastings Cuningham, and C. M. Officer, were prominent 
amongst the gentlemen who supported the movement. The 
Australian Frozen Meat Export Co., Ltd., was formed with a 
subscribed capital of loo,ii(io. m 100 shares, and some 80,000 
was spout in developing the trade. The rrentlemen above 
named were the directors of the company, Sir James McCulloch 
being Chairman all these gentlemen have passed away. Mr. 
F. W. Armytage joined the board later. Mr. John Hotson was 
appointed secretary and manager. 

At that time there were neither freezing works nor fitted 
steamers, but during the early months of 1880 temporary works 
were put up at Maribyrnong, and subsequently substantial 
freezing and storing works were erected at Newport, near 
Melbourne. Then the company chartered the s.s. Protos, and 
fitted up the vessel with refrigerating machinery ; the insulation 
of the chamber consisted of nine inches of wool. Refrigerating 
machines were manufactured in Melbourne by Messrs. Robison 
Brothers, engineers. The machine was a duplicate of the 
Giffard refrigerator which the company had imported. Toward 
the end of 1880 the Protos was loaded and despatched to 
London with about 4,600 sheep and lamb carcasses, and 100 tons 
of butter, all of which produce was landed in London in excellent 
condition on January 17th, 1881, at a moment when the city 
was cut off from supplies owing to heavy snowstorms. The 
meat sold from 5\d. to Id. per lb., and the butter fetched 
Is. 3d. per lb. These prices, of course, represented a sub- 
stantial profit. After the success of the Protos shipment, 
Mr. Thomas Brydone, of New Zealand, visited the Melbourne 
works, and no doubt the information gathered by him there was 
of great help in preparing the Dunedin shipment to be referred 
to later on in this chapter. Another steamer was chartered and 
fitted in Melbourne, the ss. Europa, the insulation being char- 
coal the Protos wool insulation had been unfitted in London 
and sold in good condition. A larger and more powerful 
refrigerator was made for the Europa by Robison Brothers. 

K.M. D 


Some 9,000 carcasses of mutton and Iamb, and some quantity 
of butter, were despatched to London, where this shipment also 
was landed in excellentcondition. The prices realized were about 
3%d. per Ib. for the meat, and Is. Id. per Ib. for the butter. 

After these ventures it occurred to the directors of the 
company that one of the regular lines of steamers trading from 
Australia to London should take up the trade. The Orient 
Line was approached in 1881, and readily entered into the 
suggestion. The s.s. Cuzco and two other steamers of the line 
were fitted up by the Orient Co. with Haslam machines. The 
Cuzco was the first vessel to sail with meat ; she took 4,000 
frozen carcasses, the freight paid at that time was 2^d. per Ib. 
The Orient and Garonne followed. Difficulties were many at 
this stage of development, and the Australian Frozen Meat 
Export Co. had to struggle with low prices for their produce as 
well as high rates of freight, and soon the capital of the company 
was seriously reduced. Drought set in, and exports from 
Melbourne had to be suspended for a time. 

The company was wound up in 1886. In 1887 the Newport 
freezing works were purchased by the Victorian Government, 
which used them in connection with the starting of the export 
butter business. In 1893 the firm of John Hotson and Co. 
leased the Newport works from the Government for a period 
of years, and in 1896 the works passed into the hands of the 
present owners, Messrs. John Cooke and Co., who in 1899 
reorganized and reconstructed them with new plant. On a 
calm survey of the events just chronicled, it is clear that the 
enterprise of the directors and shareholders of the Australian 
Frozen Meat Export Co. at Melbourne, coming just after the 
inauguration of the frozen meat trade by the Strathleven ship- 
ment, was very helpful in giving the industry a good start. 

Queensland's First Freezing Enterprise. 
The first freezing enterprise in Queensland was that of the 
Central Queensland Meat Export Co. at Lake's Creek, near 
Rockhampton. This company had its origin in a boiling-down 
works at Laurel Bank, on the Fitzroy River, opened in 1868 by 
Messrs. Berkelman and Lambert. Messrs. Whitehead and Co. 


subsequently acquired the factory. The Lake's Creek works 
were started in 1871 by the Central Queensland Meat 
Export Co. This company had but a few years of pre- 
carious existence. Difficulties occurred as time went on ; 
cattle became scarce and dear, and in 1874 the works were 
closed. The preserving works had absorbed the surplus cattle 
and raised the stock in the district to prohibitive prices. The 
works remained closed until 1877, at which date Whitehead 
and Co. purchased the property from the liquidators, and trans- 
ferred the plant at the Laurel Bank factory to the Lake's Creek 
works. About 1880 No. 2 Central Queensland Meat Export 
Co. was formed, with Mr. Bertram as manager, and about 1883 
the company added a freezing plant to its establishment. 
The freezing chambers were full of meat ready for shipment in 
September, 1883, by the s.s. Fiado. The vessel was a fortnight 
late in arrival, and on September 13 what would have been 
Queensland's pioneer enterprise in the shipment of frozen meat 
was wrecked by a disastrous fire at the works, which caused a 
loss of 30,000. (It is curious that in 1884 another of Nature's 
wrecking forces, a hurricane, frustrated the Poole Island 
pioneers in their initial effort to ship frozen meat by the same 
vessel : see p. 36.) Not until August, 1884, did the works restart. 
In 1885 the company went into liquidation, and in 1886 the 
property was purchased by a Melbourne syndicate, including 
in its members Messrs. Andrew Rowan, George Fairbairn, and 
John Living. Mr. M. C. Thomson was managing director of 
the new company formed, which retained the former style, and 
Mr. Bertram was general manager until 1890, when he was 
succeeded by Mr. Alexander Paterson. Mr. Paterson held 
office for nine years, and during his period of management 
excellent results were obtained from the works. Mr. W. S. 
Lambe (who has of late years been associated with the manage- 
ment of South American frigorificos) in 1899 became works 
manager. An average of the annual outturn of the Lake's 
Creek works for five years struck at this stage of the company's 
history showed 50,000 cattle treated and 273,000 sheep ; meat 
frozen 11,966,000 Ibs., and meat preserved 7,750,000 Ibs. In 
1901 the company and business were taken over by a syndicate 



of London capitalists, including Sir Montague Nelson, Mr. 
George Mackenzie, and Mr. James Caird. The Central Queens- 
land Meat Export Co. was registered in London, where the office 
is at 14, Dowgate Hill, E.C. Mr. G. H. Hopper was installed 
as the general manager at Lake's Creek, a position he still holds. 
The property is one of the largest meat preserving and freezing 
establishments in Australia, possessing modern machinery and 
plant. The land held by the company is about 30,000 acres, 
of which 18,000 are freehold. When the works are in full 
operation 700 to 1,000 hands are employed. Quite a small 
town is built round the factory for the employees ; a dining 
hall to seat 200 men, a mission hall, school, school of arts, 
rowing, cricket, and football clubs, are amongst the social 
features of the Lake's Creek meat works. 

Absolutely the first shipment of frozen meat actually 
despatched from Queensland left Moreton Bay, Brisbane, on 
May 20, 1884. Concerning this shipment, the Brisbane Courier 
of May 21, 1884, said : " The British India Co.'s steamer 
Dorunda, with the first shipment of frozen meat for London 
from this colony, left the Bay yesterday afternoon. The 
frozen cargo consisted of 3,594 sheep and 100 quarters of 
beef, and the shipment may be attributed to the enterprise 
of the Queensland Freezing and Food Export Co. The cattle 
were the property of Mr. Collins, one of the earliest and most 
consistent of the supporters of the meat export trade. The 
shipment was not a success, but the company afterwards 
demonstrated the vessel's capacity for carrying meat." 

Foole Island. 

An early and gallant attempt to follow up the success 
achieved by the Strathleven with its epoch-making shipment 
was made in Queensland in 1881, when the Australian Co., Ltd., 
was registered in London on April 29 of that year. Mr. Robert 
Christison, owner of large flocks and herds on his Lammermoor 
and other stations in North Queensland, conceived the idea of 
establishing meat freezing works in that part of Australia and 
of forming a London company to work the enterprise. At that 
time there was no market in the North of Queensland to speak 


of for fat cattle. There was just the boiling-down works and 
nothing more. Mr. Christison went to London, and was 
successful in meeting with some leading City men. The 
Australian Co., Ltd., was formed in London, Sir Richmond 
Cotton, M.P., afterwards Lord Mayor of London (then the 
senior partner in the well-known London firm of produce 
l>n>kors, Culverwell, Brooks and Cotton), becoming chair- 
man. The other directors of this concern, the first purely 
frozen meat company formed in England, were Messrs. B. T. 
Bosanquet, R. Campbell, jun., J. Jackson, Samson Lloyd, 
Laidley Mort, T. Salt, and A. Van de Velde, the secretary 
being Mr. R. M. Stephenson. The subscribed capital was 

Before referring to Poole Island and what happened there, 
it may be mentioned that the Australian Co. was wound up in 
1888, but prior to that stage its consignment business was 
passed over to the New Zealand and Colonial Consignment Co., 
Ltd., which was registered in London in November, 1885, with 
a capital of 50,000, the directors comprising Messrs. R. M. 
Stephenson (managing director), G. M. Mackenzie, B. T. 
Bosanquet, and A. Van de Velde. This company ran a shop 
at Hounslow as a part of its operations. As Messrs. Nelson 
Brothers, Ltd., were desirous of receiving consignments, they 
purchased the goodwill and business of the New Zealand and 
Colonial Consignment Co. from June, 1886, and took over 
Mr. Stephenson, giving him the appointment of country 
The Australian Company, Ltd., was granted a lease by the 

nsland Government of Poole Island, near Bo wen, North 
(,>inM-nsland, and the works the second freezing establishment 
erected in Australia were put up. Bowen has a fine natural 
harbour, and Messrs. Moulder's steamers now take delivery 
of the frozen meat shipped thence by the Merinda works 
of Bergl, Australia, Ltd. After many delays the factories 
were completed. A stumbling block to the company's progress 
was that the underwriters would not entertain a policy on its 

i meat shipments to London, no matter how high the 
premium offered ; nevertheless in 1884 the first cargo of meat 


from the works was put on board the s.s. Fiado, which was 
fitted with Bell-Coleman refrigerating machinery. The vessel 
was bound for Batavia, and a remunerative price for the meat 
was anticipated. Here, unfortunately, has to be recorded a 
very aggravated instance of the ill-luck which so often dogs 
the footsteps of pioneers and wrecks their enterprises. On 
January 30, 1884, just as the Fiado was ready to sail, occurred 
one of the terrible cyclones that occasionally visit the North 
Queensland coasts. When the storm abated, it was found that 
the Fiado lay high and dry on the mainland. The company 
lost heavily, and after mature consideration it was decided to 
wind up affairs. Ultimately the buildings and effects were 
sold to the British India Steam Navigation Co., which 
concern, employing steamers of their own, and those of the 
Ducal Line, owned and managed by Messrs. J. B. Westray 
and Co., began in 1885 the lifting of the meat from the Poole 
Island works. The first shipment of 1,000 tons was made by 
the s.s. Duke of Westminster in the year named, running 
on the British India-Queensland mail line. In the freezing of 
this meat various difficulties presented themselves, and at one 
point so critical was the position that the zinc-lined piano 
case of Mr. Stevens, the manager, was impounded and turned 
to use as an extra condenser. One or two shipments were made 
subsequently on the joint account of growers and shipowners, 
but the works lacked that efficiency and perfection of detail 
equipment since attained elsewhere. The new owners of the 
works found the enterprise was attended with such lack of 
success that in 1886 it was discontinued. It must be remem- 
bered that the works had been erected on an island, the only 
approach to which was at low tide, when the cattle had to cross, 
sometimes up to their girths in water. Apart from this incon- 
venience, the early management had to contend with the 
difficulties usually experienced by pioneers, lack of trade 
organization and markets, besides the prejudice against frozen 
meat, which in those days was very marked. The British 
India Co. still own the site and what remains of the works, but 
the machinery and boilers have been sold, the latter to the 
Alligator Creek Works, North Queensland. 


New Zealand enters the Field. 

It will be convenient at this point to turn to New Zealand 
and consider the beginnings of the export trade from that 
Colony in frozen mutton. In 1851 there were 233,043 sheep 
in New Zealand, and by 1880 the flocks had grown to 1 1,530,623, 
owned by 6,857 farmers. 

A notable pioneer of the New Zealand meat export trade 
was the New Zealand and Australian Land Co., the head- 
quarters of which concern are at Edinburgh. Mr. W. S. 
Davidson, who became general manager of that company in 
1879, provides an exceedingly interesting and detailed account 
of the circumstances in which New Zealand's pioneer frozen 
shipment was made on the Dunedin. Realizing the great need 
of an outlet for the large surplus of sheep, and perceiving the 
possibilities of the frozen export trade already indicated by 
the first attempts from Australia, Mr. Davidson investigated 
the whole business, his directors agreeing that a trial shipment 
from New Zealand might be arranged for on the part of 
the New Zealand and Australian Land Co., at the same time 
authorizing a preliminary expenditure of 1,000. In Feb- 
ruary, 1880, Mr. Davidson communicated with the late Mr. 
James Galbraith, a director of the Albion Shipping Co., and 
with him had a first interview with Messrs. Bell and Coleman 
in Glasgow. It was under Mr. Coleman's able supervision 
that the sailing ship Dunedin was fitted up, his early assur- 
ance to the promoters being that if the carcasses were hard 
frozen they would suffer no deterioration in the long voyage 
of 100 days or more in a sailing ship ; that they could be 
frozen on board the ship itself without any refrigerating works 
on shore to assist ; and, moreover, that with thorough insulation 
of the meat chambers in the ship, and with a proper system for 
the circulation of the cold air, the carcasses when frozen solid 
might be stored for the voyage as closely as they could be packed 
without risk of their being crushed. This was, indeed, a 
marvellous piece of prescience. Careful investigation having 
led Mr. Davidson to the conclusion that a Bell-Coleman 
cold air compression refrigerating machine was the best to 


adopt, a contract was finally concluded whereby the Albion 
Shipping Co. agreed to fit up one of its best and fastest sailing 
ships with insulated meat chambers, boilers, and Bell- 
Coleman refrigerating machinery, the Land Co. undertaking 
to find a cargo of meat (up to 7,500 sheep, if necessary) 
to fill the chambers, and to pay a freight of 2^d. per lb., 
taking all the risk of the cargo arriving in a marketable 

In support of this enterprise, Messrs. William Ewing and Co., 
insurance brokers, of Glasgow, were plucky enough to accept 
what was a totally unknown risk by covering all contingencies 
attached to the carriage of the meat at the moderate premium 
of five guineas per cent. The ship Dunedin, of about 1,200 
tons, commanded by Captain Whitson, was selected for the 
venture, and Mr. Davidson sent his instructions to Mr. Thomas 
Brydone, the Land Co.'s superintendent in New Zealand, to 
erect a killing shed in which to slaughter the sheep, to secure 
first-rate butchers, and in every way to prepare for the 
provision of a cargo of the most attractive classes of sheep. 
Under Mr. Brydone's able direction this work was carried 
out, and the slaughterhouse was erected on the company's 
Totara Estate. Looking back now, too much praise can 
hardly be given to the extraordinary wisdom and pluck shown 
by these Dunedin men. Failure in their enterprise might well 
have thrown back the industry for years. 

The Voyage of the Dunedin. 

It was decided to freeze on board, and the work was entered 
upon in a 'tween decks chamber on the Dunedin at Port 
Chalmers on December 7, 1881, when Mr. Davidson and Mr. 
Brydone personally stowed the first frozen sheep ever loaded 
in New Zealand, the question with them being as to whether 
the carcasses, after they had been frozen on board the ship, 
should be placed " thwart ship " or " fore and aft " in the 
chambers. All went well until December 11, when a 
fracture of the engine's crank-shaft owing to a flaw in 


the casting stopped the work and compelled the sale of the 
641 sheep then in the chambers and of the 360 killed and in 
transit. Thus New Zcalanders themselves were the first con- 
sumers of their own frozen meat. A repair was made, and the 
loading was completed on February 11, 1882, the ship sailing 
on the 15th of that month, and arriving in London Docks on 
May 24, after a long passage of ninety-eight days. During that 
period the refrigerating machine had worked steadily ; some- 
times, in cool weather, it was only run two or three hours 
in the twenty-four. 

The anxiety as to the fate of the meat is aptly described by 
Mr. Davidson, who had then returned to London. " Captain 
Whitson," he says, " came on to London ahead of his ship in 
a pilot boat, looking very strained and careworn as he entered 
the shipping company's office. He was not quite sure about 
the condition of the cargo, but thought that most of it was 
sound. The vicissitudes of his experimental voyage were 
related, the captain's anxieties about the cargo having been 
aggravated by his dread that his masts would be burnt, as the 
sparks from the funnel set fire to the sails on several occasions. 
Then, in the tropics the ship was for a long time on one tack, 
and owing to its steadiness the cold air was not sufficiently 
diffused amongst the carcasses, and, in fact, the temperature 
in the upper chamber remained so high that the engineer was 
almost in despair." At last Captain Whitson had determined 
to alter the circulation of the air, which was evidently defective, 
and to do this he had to crawl down the main trunk, and in the 
process of cutting fresh openings for the better escape of the 
cold air he became so benumbed by the frost that he was only 
rescued from his perilous position by the mate crawling in 
behind him and attaching a rope to his legs by which means 
he was pulled out of the air trunk ! 

It was found at London Docks that the cargo had arrived 
in a sound condition, and its sale at Smithfield was at once 
arranged for, the cargo embracing 3,521 sheep and 449 lambs 
belonging to the Land Co., and 939 sheep supplied by 
" outsiders.*' 

The results of the marketing of this pioneer shipment were 


officially communicated to New Zealand, and the following is 
a brief extract of the particulars then forwarded : 

" The discharging of the cargo commenced three days after 
arrival, and the whole shipment was sold within a fortnight, 
the meat being taken out at night and conveyed to Smithfield 
market, so that the sheep were hard frozen when butchers 
went to buy them in the morning. There are no auction sales 
of dead meat in London, and the carcasses were sold at Smith- 
field in the usual way, by placing so many in the hands of some 
half-dozen salesmen who made as good prices for them as they 
could. At first the salesmen were rather doubtful about the 
venture being a success, especially as it was the first trial from 
New Zealand, but when they saw the fine big sheep, which, 
though many of them had been frozen over four months, 
were as clean and bright as newly-killed mutton, they quickly 
changed their opinion and pronounced the meat to be ' as 
perfect as meat could be.' New Zealanders will be pleased 
to learn that the shipment was mentioned even in the 
House of Lords. Excepting the very fat coarse sheep weighing 
over 100 Ibs. each several weighed over 150 Ibs., and one 
182 Ibs. the mutton was quite suitable for the English market. 
Out of the whole cargo only one sheep was condemned. 
Including some eight or ten sheep and lambs given away, 
which are entered at the average price of those sold, the 
following is an exact statement of the actual results of the 
shipment : 

No. Weight. Per sheep. Per Ib. 

s. rf. d. . s. d. 

Sheep: 3,136 244,073 Ibs. sold in London 227 6v>6 6,675 9 8 

373 29,415 Glasgow 230 6-54 801 13 6 

8 477 captain 199 6 11 18 6 

3 to order of manager 227 679 

1 condemned 


Lambs: 425 16,846 Ibs. sold in London 1 1 4 6'45 453 Oil 

24 950 Glasgow 1 5 7-60 30 1 

449 7,978 11 4 

Pigs : 22 1,164 31 2 11 

8,009 14 3 

TUL; \\OKK <>i rm. 

< ii.M:..r..-. 

Brought forward 
' for bags ........ 
:ng meat frozen in Dunedin after her arrival in 
Freight on 296 477 Mm. 







* . 4. 

-.'"'. n -t 

mcc on 7,600 




scharge, telegrams, etc. . 
Dock Company'* account for discharging . 









.ige 400 !)> to Glasgow 
Bale, commission, bank charges, etc. .... 





i 2 4 

4.216 11 11 

The net return per sheep in Port Chalmers is 1 0*. U9d. or 3-23<f. per Ib. 
lamb 10*. 9d. 3-25<*. 

" I calculate there will be a net return of fully 9d. per sheep 
in New Zealand from sale of skins and tallow, after paying cost 
of killing and putting on board ship, so that the company has 
netted 1 Is. 8fdL for its sheep, averaging rather under 81 Ibs. 

"The loss in selling weight, as compared with shipping weight, 
amounts to only a little over 1 Ib. on each carcass. The charges 
between Port Chalmers and London, including insurance and 
freight, amounted to 2 -73d. per Ib., and, after the ship arrived 
in London, 0'41rf. per Ib. The sheep sent home would only 
have netted some 11s. or 12s. per head in the Dunedin market 
at the time of shipping, so that their value was about doubled. 
The 939 sheep sent by other shippers sold at about the same 
prices as the company's sheep, all but some very heavy ewes, 
which did not fetch so much per Ib., but nevertheless brought 
full value considering the quality of the meat." 

Mr. Davidson states that " After the success of the Dunedin 
shipment the Land Co. engaged the Marlborough, another fast 
sailer belonging to the Albion Shipping Co., and these two 
vessels each brought home very successfully about half a dozen 
cargoes of mutton, the former ship carrying about 9,000 car- 
casses and the latter about 13,000. Tragedy, however, 
awaited them, as, while still carrying frozen meat for the Land 
Co., both vessels left New Zealand within six weeks of one 
another, and neither was ever heard of again, the supposition 


being that they ran on icebergs off the Horn, these being very 
numerous about that time." 

Mr, Brydone's Forecast. 

Mr. Brydone took the deepest interest in the trade, for the 
successful inauguration of which he was largely responsible. 
In 1881 he read a paper at the annual meeting of the Otago 
Agricultural and Pastoral Association, giving an account of 
his investigations in Australia and elsewhere. His faith never 
wavered, for even as late as 1892, when many people in New 
Zealand thought that the export then reached of 2,000,000 
carcasses was about the " top notch," he stated : " I should 
say there is every prospect of New Zealand being able to export 
4,000,000 sheep ten years hence as easily as we do 2,000,000 
now." Mr. Brydone's forecast was correct ! 

Canterbury and Otago erected a building in the Agricultural 
Hall, Christchurch, to his memory, called the Brydone Hall, 
and the farmers of the Oamaru district have erected a hand- 
some memorial cairn on the Totara Estate, where the first 
sheep for the frozen meat trade were killed and prepared for 
export in the ship Dunedin. In reviewing the circumstances 
that led up to the successful pioneer shipment from New Zea- 
land, one can have no doubt of the important part played by 
Thomas Brydone. It is clear that he had grasped some of the 
possibilities of the new trade and what they promised for the 
sheep farmer of New Zealand. Deservedly may he take front 
rank amongst the pioneers. 

Supplementing Mr. Davidson's statement as to the outturn of 
the meat ex Dunedin, the market circular of the National 
Mortgage and Agency Co. of New Zealand, dated June 2, 1882, 
declared the shipment to have arrived in first-class condition. 
The carcasses were pronounced excellent in quality, exception, 
however, being taken to the very fat and heavy sheep. The 
consignment, it was stated, was selling at prices ranging from 
fyd. to \d. per lb., lambs at 6%d. to l\d. per lb., and it was 
added that the experiment was considered a great success. 
The other consignors of meat by the Dunedin referred to 

THOM.\> lii;\ MUSK. 

To faff p. 44. 


above were Messrs. James Elder (Maheno), .1. II. Smith 
(Invercargill), Murray, Roberts and Co., and James Shand. 

The Times had a leading article on the shipment, and called 
the venture a " prodigious fact," which it indeed was. The 
English butcher, with the fine New Zealand wether sheep 
before him, equal in quality to home-bred mutton, realized that 
a new era was opened up in the retail meat trade. He was 
well justified in his realization, for since May, 1882, some 
78,000,000 New Zealand frozen carcasses have been handled 
by retailers in Great Britain, much to their profit, and more 
to the well-being of the British public who have consumed 



THE development of freezing in Australia has not been on 
such an extensive scale nor so continuous as in New Zealand. 
This has been partly due to the periodic droughts from which 
Australia has suffered and the distances separating the sheep- 
breeding districts from the shipping ports. Moreover, in New 
Zealand the freezing industry arrived in the nick of time to 
place farming in that country on a paying basis, and the 
Colony found it absolutely necessary to follow it up with 
regularity. On the other hand, Australia's merino wool 
production one of the grandest industries in the world 
except in periods of depressed prices for the golden fleece, 
has always put the freezing of sheep into a secondary 
position : only the surplus sheep have been exported. 
Again, in New Zealand freezing has proved fairly profitable, 
and the business has been organized on systematic lines, 
while in Australia the freezing works as a whole have gone 
through many vicissitudes. Large schemes were propounded 
for covering portions of the continent with meat-freezing 
works, but before these schemes could be properly carried 
out the 1895 1903 drought intervened and prevented the 
proper development of the enterprises. 

In a considerable number of the Australian works, especially 
those in New South Wales, stock are killed at various 
centres and then either railed or carted to the freezing works. 
After being frozen, the carcasses are again either railed or 
carted to the steamer, in most instances in insulated vans. 
The best works, however, are conducted on the same principle 


as in Now Zealand and the Argentine Republic, the animals 
being slaughtered alongside the freezing chambers. 


In the State of Queensland, where the general freezing 
scheme has been well designed, there have been big fluctuations 
in meat exports, as the few following figures will show : 


Cattle In the SUte. 

Frozen Beef Exports to 
the United Kingdom. 








1903 . 



1910 . 



Most of the meat works are situated at the point of 

Central Queensland Meat Export Co. The first freezing 
enterprise in Queensland was that of the Central Queensland 
Meat Export Co. at Lake's Creek, near Rockhampton. As a 
meat works Lake's Creek was opened in 1871, and a freezing 
plant was added in 1883 (see p. 34 for a sketch of the early 
history of this concern). 

Queensland Meat Export and Agency Co. The Queens- 
land Meat Export and Agency Co., with works at Eagle Farm, 
on the Brisbane River, and at Ross Creek, Townsville, was 
formed in 1890. Sir Thomas Mcll wraith was a prime mover in 
floating the company with 1,000,000 capital, and Mr. John 
Cooke, who had newly come from New Zealand, assisted in 
its establishment. Of this nominal capital less than 100,000 
was subscribed. Messrs. W. Weddel and Co. were appointed 
agents in London, and a five years' freight contract was made 
with Moulder Brothers and Co. for the conveyance of 1,200 tons 
of meat per month at }\\d. per Ib. for mutton and \d. per Ib. 
for beef. The Queensland Meat Export Co., which was formed 


to give graziers a market in the Old World for their surplus 
cattle, has had a varied career, bad luck attending the 
early shipments of beef, which suffered terribly from " bone 
taint." The quality of the cattle handled was excellent, and 
after the fault referred to had been overcome Queensland 
beef met a good demand at Smithfield. But shipments soon 
overtaxed the English market, and prices fell so low that the 
Continent of Europe was tried as a market as an addition to 
the marts of Great Britain ; in some cases the Queensland 
squatters not only drew no cash for their consignments, but 
had to pay a reclamation charge. Then came the drought, 
with the consequent gradual reduction of shipments. The 
company, supported in the first place by squatters' consign- 
ments, had to buy on its own account, and of late years 
has depended for its business on shipments of frozen and 
preserved meats on its own account to British and Eastern 
markets. Mr. C. Ross is the manager of the Brisbane works, 
and Mr. Robert Stewart is in charge of the Ross Creek 
works. A controlling holding in the company was purchased 
some little time ago by Messrs. G. S. Yuill and Co. (now 
Yuills, Ltd.), whose London office is at 120, Fenchurch Street, 
E.G. The Queensland Meat Co.'s works form a good example of 
sound engineering equipment, and the refitting of the Townsville 
works, recently undertaken, brings them into line with the most 
up-to-date freezing works in existence in either hemisphere. The 
works now have the most modern machinery and appliances 
for handling produce, etc., that can possibly be procured, 
the original freezing machinery and other plant being 
discarded, and new freezing and electric plant being erected 
in its place. The whole of the new steam engines, both for 
freezing and electric service, are triple expansion with a 
superheated steam supply at 220 Ibs. pressure, supplied by 
mechanically fired boilers, and the entire coal supply is worked 
by the latest coal-handling machinery. The whole of the 
freezing rooms, stores, etc., have been piped with direct expan- 
sion coils, in lieu of the air circulating batteries which were 
formerly in use. When these works were designed about 
twenty years ago, the old dry air system was installed but 


a few years later the machines were replaced by ammonia 
compression plant, and the freezing rooms were operated by 
air circulating batteries. About two years ago it was decided 
to fit half of the total freezing capacity with direct expansion 
piping, and this, after working for a season, gave such 
excellent results and so thoroughly satisfied the directors of 
the company that they decided to pipe the remainder of the 
freezing block at large expenditure. In Townsville coal is 
expensive, the water supply limited, and drainage difficult ; 
nevertheless, the improvements now made render the works 
second to none for economy and convenience in working. 

Gladstone Meat Works. The Gladstone Meat Works of 
Queensland had its inception in 1893, when a meeting was 
called by Messrs. J. H. Geddes and Co. to consider the question 
of establishing freezing works at Gladstone. The company 
was formed in 1894, and shipments began in 1896. Mr. W. B. 
Shaw was the prime mover in the formation of this company. 
The works can treat 150 bullocks and 2,000 sheep a day. The 
freezing chambers are substantially boilt of cemented brickwork, 
and the risk of fire is minimized by the use of pumice insulation. 
The refrigerating power is supplied by one of Haslam's 80- ton 
compound ammonia machines and one 100-ton compound 
Limit' ammonia machine. The slaughterhouse is provided 
with hydraulic plant for handling the carcasses during dressing. 
The company has its own pier, at which ocean-going vessels 
berth. Mr. N. W. Kingdon is the manager. 

Meat Works at Bowen. The Merinda Meat Works, near 
Bowen, were established in 1895, Bergl, Australia, Ltd., being 
the proprietors, and Mr. Frank H. Houlder and Captain 
Thomas Hutton (Australia) its directors. The original con- 
cern, taken over by the Bergl Co., was the Bowen Meat Export 
and Agency Co. The works are a few miles up the railway, and 
the meat is trucked to the Bowen jetty and put on board the 
Houlder liners. The Merinda works have been kept thoroughly 
up-to-date, and many additions and improvements have been 
made, including the establishment of a canning plant. The 
works can treat 150 head of cattle for freezing and 50 head for 
canning daily, with a storage capacity of 1,500 tons. 



Birt and Co.'s Works. The important interests held in 
Australia in the way of freezing works by Messrs. Birt and Co., 
Ltd., Sydney represented in London by Messrs. Birt, Potter 
and Hughes, Ltd. may be set forth as follow. In 1895 
Messrs. Birt and Co. leased the Government meat markets at 
Sydney, and later in the same year they also leased the 
Musgrave Wharf, Brisbane, and built freezing works on the 
property adjoining. From that time onwards they became one 
of the largest exporters of frozen meat from Australia. The 
Sydney works can deal with 3,500 carcasses of mutton per 
day, and have a storage capacity of about 40,000 carcasses. 
The Musgrave Wharf works can deal with about 120 head of 
cattle per day, and have storage for about 700 to 800 tons. 
In 1901 Messrs. Birt and Co. built their own killing and freezing 
works at Mooraree, eight miles from Brisbane (now called 
Murarrie), and at these works there is plant to kill and freeze 
150 head of cattle and 600 sheep per day, with storage for 
1,030 tons. Mr. E. Owen Cox is managing director for Australia. 

Redbank and the Burdekin River Meat Works. Reference 
has now been made to the Queensland beef freezing works 
possessing historic interest. Turning to modern times, Messrs. 
John Cooke and Co. erected the Redbank works on the upper 
Brisbane river, one of the largest in the State, in 1902. Two 
large Hercules machines are installed at the Redbank works, 
which until lately were under the charge of Mr. J. H. 
McConnell. The daily freezing capacity of the works is 1,500 
sheep and 300 cattle ; storage capacity, 100,000 carcasses. 
During the South African war Mr. Cooke supplied about 
90 per cent, of the Australian meat issued to the British 
troops. As beef was largely called for in that connection, 
Mr. Cooke erected the Redbank freezing works, and with 
the aid of the Burdekin Meat Works Co., situated on the 
Burdekin river, North Queensland, in which he had a large 
shareholding interest, supplemented by the annual output 
of the Gladstone freezing works, which he regularly acquired, 
a large export trade to Africa, the Philippines, Siberia, Japan, 
Mediterranean ports, and the United Kingdom was built 
up, the only drawback being the long-continued scarcity of 





supplies resulting from the severe drought which broke up 
in 1902. 

The importance of Queensland as a contributor of frozen 
beef to Great Britain is noted in the number of freezing 
works dotting the course of the Brisbane river. The works 
of Thomas Borthwick and Sons, Ltd., expected to start 
freezing early in 1912, are situated on the south side of 
the river, six or seven miles from Brisbane, and between the 
city and Moreton Bay. The buildings are within 200 feet of 
tho river, and ocean steamers will load meat at the company's 
wharf. Tho site which, it is stated, has been acquired by the 
American Meat Trust for freezing works is about half a mile 
from Messrs. Borthwick's works. 

A recent estimate of the capacity of the freezing works in 
Queensland gives 180,000 head of cattle treated during a six 
months' running season. This is on a basis of a daily 
slaughtering capacity of 2,230 cattle for the ten works in the 
State. In addition, over 1,000,000 sheep can be handled for 
freezing whilst the works are going at their full capacity 
for cattle. 

New South Wales. 

New South Wales Fresh Food and Ice Co. Turning now 
to New South Wales, and considering the export of frozen 
mutton, it may be mentioned that these works at Darling 
Harbour, Sydney, opened in 1861 by Mr. Mort, are the oldest 
in Australasia. Mr. Mort invested 250,000 in the works ; it 
was in 1874 that the company was formally incorporated under 
ite present title. In 1898 were erected for the New South 
Wales Fresh Food and Ice Co., Ltd., in Liverpool Street, 
Sydney, works designed to treat about 5,000 sheep daily or an 
equivalent in beef, etc., and to store about 85,000 carcasses of 
mutton as well as large quantities of butter, ice, fish, etc., in 
addition to which about 32 tons of ice were manufactured daily 
in the same building. In arrangement these freezing rooms 
and stores were very much after the style of those at Deniliquin, 
mentioned hereafter, but considerably larger and much more 
heavily piped with ammonia coils, this being done to enable 



the company to treat meat, when desired for shipment, in the 
shortest possible time, which is frequently very essential when 
completing the loading of a steamer with a special brand of 
meat. The company do not slaughter at their works, but only 
freeze. The direct expansion system of refrigeration is 
employed. The company have a very extensive local connec- 
tion in the supply of refrigerated provisions. At these works 
are frozen the sheep slaughtered at the Riverstone establish- 
ment, thirty miles from Sydney, owned by Messrs. B. Richards 
and Sons, who have shown regularity and courage in their 
export trade, having taken their chances year in year out 
in selling their mutton on the London market. Mr. A. E. 
Pitt is the London agent. Some years ago the Riverstone 
Meat Co. had several stalls in the Smithfield market annexe. 

Australian Chilling and Freezing Co. The Australian 
Chilling and Freezing Co., Ltd., a London concern of which 
Sir Montague Nelson is chairman, first opened works at Aber- 
deen, on the Hunter river, in 1891, and in February, 1892, the 
s.s. Port Douglas took the first shipment of 13,000 carcasses of 
mutton. Mr. W. A. Benn, of Sydney (prominently connected 
of late years with the frozen rabbit business), was for many 
years manager of the company. The Aberdeen works at the 
start offered three forms of contract : first, to purchase 
delivered, fat wethers weighing 47 Ibs. and upwards, dressed, 
with shanks off, and kidneys and kidney fat removed, at Id. 
per Ib. cold weight, all offal, including fat, to belong to the com- 
pany, skin and wool to seller ; second, partial sale, the company 
to make an advance of fd. per Ib. on sheep, and in the event of 
the mutton selling on average above 3^d. per Ib. the company 
returning shippers 75 per cent, of surplus, the offal to belong 
to the company, the skins and wool to owner ; the third 
form, to consign on owner's account, the company treating the 
meat, and bagging and shipping it, as well as paying all charges 
for a consolidated rate of 2'20d., giving shippers an advance, 
and keeping offal and by-products as before. These works 
have had to contend with variable seasons and low London 
values for the excellent class of mutton and lamb exported, 
and their operations have benefited New South Wales and 


sheep growers more than the shareholders. Mr. R. C. McAclam 
is the manager of the company. 

Pastoral Finance Association. The era of modern well- 
equipped freezing works in the parent State of Australia began 
in 1801. In that year a freezing plant was installed at the 
Pastoral Finance Association's premises, Kirribilli Point, Syd- 
ney Harbour. The first directors were Messrs. J. H. Geddes 
(manager and managing director), J. F. Burns, Hon. R. H. 
Roberts, Hon. G. H. Cox (chairman), Russell Barton, and 
J. B. Christian. The daily freezing capacity (Linde machinery) 
at the start was 1,500 carcasses, now it is 2,500 ; storage 
capacity was at first 50,000 carcasses, now it is 75,000. The 
total quantity of meat shipped from 1891 to (March) 1909 
was 2,750,000 carcasses. The present directors are Messrs. 
Russell Barton (managing director), J. B. Christian, Hon. 
G. H. Greene, and W. F. Jacques ; Mr. H. Chilton- Young 
is the manager. Owing to the severe drought the works closed 
down from 1899 to 1904. No slaughtering is done at this 

Chilling Up- Country. An important feature of the freezing 
industry which was about the beginning of the nineties 
advocated by some of the most able and practical men con- 
nected with sheep raising in New South Wales, was the 
slaughter of the sheep as near to their pastures as possible, 
chilling the carcasses there, and railing the chilled mutton to port 
for freezing. Mr. Robert Hudson, of Melbourne and Sydney, 
was the first man to introduce this chilling at inland centres. 
Works were started at Narrandera (Riverina) and at Tenter- 
field in the north. Refrigerator cars were attached to the 
trains for the conveyance of the meat to Sydney for freezing. 
The works were well equipped, the engineering work being 
undertaken by Messrs. J. Wildridge and Sinclair, Ltd. But 
neither of the works was operated very successfully, as they 
had to compete with the Homebush market, and carriage and 
freight costs were against the enterprise. The Tenterfield works 
were dismantled shortly afterwards, but the Narrandera works 
are still in operation, and are even to-day being refitted to deal 
with sheep for export. A carload of mutton from Narrandera 


was offered by auction by Goldsbrough, Mort and Co. in 
1890, this handselling of the up-country scheme representing 
\\d. to Ifd. per Ib. a poor start ! The late Mr. J. H. Geddes 
was enthusiastic in recommending this system. The late 
Alexander Bruce, Chief Inspector of Stock, New South Wales, 
also highly approved of up-country chilling, which was 
thoroughly discussed by Mr. Cuthbert Fetherstonhaugh in his 
pamphlet " The Meat Export Trade," published in 1894. The 
authors acknowledge indebtedness for information to this 
pamphlet and to Mr. Bruce's " The Meat Trade of Australia," 
1895. On this basis the Young Meat Chilling and Export Co. 
was started in 1892 with a guarantee of 200,000 sheep and 3,000 
cattle yearly. The mutton was killed and chilled at Young, 
and was then sent down in a refrigerated car, run on board 
a specially constructed craft at Darling Harbour, and towed 
across to Kirribilli Point, where the truck was unloaded at the 
works right into the freezing rooms. A similar plant on a 
rather larger scale was fitted up at Dubbo, and one also at 
Gunnedah. But the risks and costliness of this method put it 
out of court ; a sheep cost 2|d. per Ib. to kill and send from 
Young to London. The sponsors for this up-country chilling 
took their cue from North America, where it was, and is, 
practised extensively (but not f or freezing afterwards). 

Riverina Frozen Meat Co. It may be mentioned that 
in 1892-1893 there were about 56,000,000 sheep in New 
South Wales, and a surplus of about 13,000,000 wethers of 
fattening ages, and it was desirable that steps should be taken 
to increase freezing facilities. In 1892 Mr. John Cooke, who 
had gone to Melbourne from New Zealand in 1889, promoted 
the Riverina Frozen Meat Co., which built its works at Denili- 
quin, New South Wales, 200 miles from Melbourne. This was 
the first concern to demonstrate the practicability of safely 
carrying frozen carcasses long distances and in ordinary insulated 
wagons in summer. The main idea was to supply country- 
killed and frozen mutton and lamb, driven short distances 
from their own pastures to the works and thus spared the 
deterioration resulting from long railage of the live animals 
to Melbourne. The first directors of the Riverina Co. were 



Messrs. John Cooke, Albert Austin, R. O. Blackwood, 8. Frazer, 
L. Kiddle, J. Raleigh, and R. B. Ronald. Dalgety and Co., 
Goldsbrough, Mort and Co., the Australian Mortgage Land and 
Finance Co., and the Australian Mortgage and Agency Co. 
co-operated with Mr. Cooke in securing the necessary capital. 
The first shipment of meat was despatched from Melbourne in 
1895 per s.s. Maori. The long series of droughty seasons in 
the Riverina reduced surplus fat stock to such an extent that 
the works have never been kept going steadily, and, indeed, 
have perforce remained idle for several consecutive years. 
Mr. Frank Coxon, the well-known Australian consulting and 
refrigerating engineer, says of the Deniliquin works that they 
were at the time of their erection far and away the most com- 
plete in Australasia or elsewhere for the economical handling 
and freezing of sheep, and although certain after-provisions 
were made for the treatment of a limited number of cattle, 
that was of small moment, the Riverina not being a large beef- 
producing district. Everything, he adds, went exceedingly 
well with the Deniliquin works until the great drought set in, 
and it is a noteworthy fact that, notwithstanding that those 
works are situated about 245 miles from Melbourne, the port 
of shipment, shipmasters and others who have handled the 
meat declare that it is as good as the best frozen and hardest 
meat shipped from that port. 

Graziers' Meat Export Co. The other company formed in 
1892 to build works inland was the Graziers' Meat Export 
Co. of New South Wales, capital 250,000. It was Mr. 
Fetherstonhaugh who, in spite of the apathy of the squat- 
ters, worked up this concern, and the names associated with 
its initiation, in addition to his, were W. A. Cottee, T. F. 
Knox, George Maiden, W. F. Lawry, F. W. Bacon, W. H. 
Armstrong, and George Mair. Works were put up at Sandown 
(Parramatta River), Werris Creek, Carrathool, Nyngan, and 
Forbes. Sandown was a freezing establishment, the other four 
being up-country chilling depots. The career of the Graziers' 
Co. was disastrous, and about 1901 the whole of the works were 
acquired by a syndicate of London capitalists called the Austral 
Freezing Works, Ltd., the country works being dismantled 


or sold, experience having proved that a central works at 
Sydney, where the supplies of fat stock from nearly all parts 
of the State are marketed, and where large and regular freezing 
operations are possible, is essential from every point of view. 
Sandown only is now worked by Messrs. John Cooke and 
Co., who took it over from the Austral Co. in 1902. 

Sandown Freezing Works. The Sandown undertaking has 
been extended from time to time, and can now treat 6,000 
sheep and 150 bullocks daily. 

From the above short history regarding country-killed 
frozen meat the conclusion may be drawn that, although the 
principle was apparently a sound one, it has since been demon- 
strated that such meat, whilst admittedly a better article of 
food, costs more and does not command an enhanced price 
over that railed alive to the seaboard and treated there. 

In August, 1911, the farmers of the Byron Bay (north 
coast) district formed " the Byron Bay Co-operative Canning 
and Freezing Co.," capital 50,000, with excellent prospects 
of founding an important concern. 


Newport Freezing Works. Victoria was early in the field, 
for this company, formed in Melbourne after the Strathleven 
shipment, erected works at Newport, near Melbourne, the 
second freezing works erected in Australasia. The Victorian 
Government afterwards acquired Newport, which first assumed 
commercial export shape when Mr. John Hotson secured a 
lease of the works. In 1893 Nelson Brothers, Ltd., and 
Mr. Hotson came to a working arrangement to freeze for 
export regularly at Newport. In 1896 Mr. Hotson sold out 
his interest to the Austral Co., and the firm of John Cooke and 
Co. has ever since used the works as its chief base for preparing 
and shipping its well-known " Champion brand " of mutton 
and lamb. Fuller details of the formation and operations 
of these works appear in " The Work of the Pioneers," 
Chapter II. 

Portland Freezing Works. These works were built in 


1805, and were taken over in 1001 by Messrs. Thomas 
Borthwick and Sons, Ltd., from the Portland and Western 
District Freezing Co. The daily capacity is 1,200 lambs; 
storage capacity 25,000 carcasses of mutton. Messrs. Borthwick 
also have works near Melbourne. 

Western Freezing Co. These works at Geelong also date 
from 1805, and were likewise (in 1901) acquired by London 
capitalists ; the purchasers, Messrs. W. and R. Fletcher, Ltd., 
have operated the works regularly up to the present time. 
Both Messrs. Fletcher's works and those of the Geelong Har- 
bour Trust (Corio Freezing Works and Abattoirs) are well 
designed and compact establishments. At the latter works, 
which were opened in 1909, an excellent innovation has been 
introduced. A stream of water flows at the back of the 
slaughterers, who, in killing, throw the offal behind them, and the 
water conveys it away to a grating, where the fat is collected. 

Government Cool Stores. This large undertaking, belong- 
ing to the City Council, established in the heart of Melbourne, 
is under the charge of Mr. R. Crowe, and turns over a con- 
siderable quantity of frozen lambs, poultry, and sundries. 
The Victorian Government have decided to erect works of 
their own near the docks at a cost of 75,000. 

W. Angliss and Co. One of the large freezing works of 
Australia is that belonging to Messrs. W. Angliss and Co., at 
Footscray, near Melbourne. The Imperial Freezing Works 
were opened in 1905. Messrs. Angliss also own works in Bourke 
Street, Melbourne. Mr. A. E. Pitt, 64, West Smithfield, B.C., 
is the London agent of Messrs. Angliss. 

Wimmera Co-operative Freezing Works. The opening of 
the Wimmera Co-operative Freezing Works at Murtoa, 
Victoria, on September 28, 1911, marked the commencement 
of yet another effort to make up-country freezing establish- 
ments a payable proposition in Australia. These works, 
which constitute one of the biggest co-operative schemes in 
the State, cost 45,000, and have storage accommodation 
for 40,000 carcasses, and are capable of treating 2,500 a 
clay. The first shipment 10,000 lambs was made on 
October 21. 


Four other freezing works in Melbourne occasionally avail- 
able for meat export are : The Melbourne Ice Skating and 
Refrigerating Co. ; Messrs. J. Bartram and Sons' works, Flinders 
Lane ; Sennitt and Sons Proprietary, Ltd., Miller Street ; and 
the Victorian Butter Factories Co-operative Co., Flinders 

South Australia and Western Australia. 

Freezing works in Adelaide, South Australia, were suggested 
as early as 1891. The Government of the State started freez- 
ing by building State refrigeration works at Port Adelaide, 
and has been much criticized for so doing. It is an axiom 
that the Government of a country should not interfere with 
private enterprise. But where private enterprise is lacking in 
a young country, the State is justified in stepping in to 
promote and conduct an industry required for the country's 
development. About 1894,Mr.D. J. Gordon, M.H.R.,then com- 
mercial editor of the Adelaide Register, strongly advocated the 
establishment of the frozen lamb export trade, and he called 
a meeting for the discussion of the subject. Many South 
Australian leading pastoralists who were present threw cold 
water on the proposal, and said that South Australia would 
never be a lamb-exporting country. Capital to float a private 
company formed to build freezing works at Port Adelaide 
could not be obtained. Now was the occasion for the Govern- 
ment of the Colony to step in. 

Port Adelaide Works. The influence of the late Hon. 
Thomas Price, leader of the Labour Party in the South 
Australian Parliament from 1901, and afterwards Premier, and 
of Sir John Cockburn, Premier in 1889 1890, was successful in 
getting the Port Adelaide works erected ; this establishment, 
equal to handling 300,000 sheep and lambs yearly, is one of 
the largest in Australasia. Mr. Gordon's spirited advocacy of 
the lamb export trade has been justified by the considerable 
number of lambs which have been and are now put through 
these works. Exporting was begun in 1895, and to June 30, 
1911, 2,468,076 animals had been frozen for export, and for the 


last season 241,533 carcasses were shipped, of which number 
195,000 were lambs. In 1006 it was apparent that the works 
needed enlargement and reconstruction in order to deal effec- 
tively with the rush of lambs that had to be handled smartly 
during the short lamb-freezing season. An investigation of 
the latest methods adopted by the New Zealand freezing com- 
panies was made by Mr. C. F. G. McCann on behalf of the 
Government of South Australia, and as the result of the special 
enquiries made by this gentleman (who is now Trades Commis- 
sioner for South Australia in London) the Port Adelaide works 
were considerably enlarged and modernized, especially in the 
direction of economical treatment of the by-products. The 
only other exporting freezing works in the State is the works 
formerly owned by the Adelaide Ice and Cold Storage Co. 
This was purchased by the South Australian Government in 
1910 for 35,000. So the State has the monopoly of freezing 
for export in South Australia. 

Western Fresh Food and Ice Co. This company completed 
a small works at Fremantle, Western Australia (which also has 
inland freezing establishments at Perth and Kalgoorlie), in 
1906 ; but the only frozen meat export taking place thence has 
been a tentative shipment or two of lambs sent to London. The 
Western Australian Government are going to erect works 
at Wyndham and other ports on the north-west coast, and if 
the intentions, as stated, of the Bovril Australian Estates, 
Ltd., an important London company, are carried out, the cattle 
owners of North- Western Australia will have an outlet for 
their stock in the shape of a meat freezing works on the 
northern coast line of Western Australia. 



THE frozen meat industry in New Zealand was started by the 
large sheep owners with the assistance of the various land, 
finance, and mercantile companies, and it may be said that 
but for the assistance of these companies there would not have 
been any chance of the industry being floated. The majority 
of the sheep farmers in the colony were so involved, and the 
price of stock was so low, at the beginning of the eighties, that 
the pastoral industry was largely in the hands of these com- 
panies. The early shipments of frozen meat were on account 
of the growers, and were consigned to the various financial 
companies in England doing business with the Colony. The 
freezing companies came to be termed " farmers' companies," 
many of them simply freezing on behalf of the owners. 

The progress of the frozen meat trade in New Zealand can 
probably be best reviewed by referring to the establishment, 
one after another, of the freezing works in that country. 

New Zealand Refrigerating Co. The first enterprise of the 
kind was the New Zealand Refrigerating Co., which was formed 
in 1881 with freezing works at Burnside, near Dunedin, and a 
few years afterwards at Oamaru. This concern, though the 
pioneer company, never reached any great proportions. For 
some time the directors endeavoured to carry on purely a 
freezing business ; in later years they developed into a buying 
company. The Dunedin works were the first in New Zealand. 
The first directors were Messrs. John Roberts, C.M.G. 
(Murray Roberts and Co.), W. I. M. Larnach, E. B. Cargill, 
E. I. Spence (Dalgety and Co.), Robert Wilson, A. C. Begg 
(Robert Campbell and Co., Ltd.), and James Shand. The 
company froze the meat cargo for the s.s. Marsala 
the third shipment 8,506 carcasses ; this shipment, made 



in 1883, being the first from New Zealand by steamship. 
The company also loaded, in 1883, the steamers Sorrento, 
Fenatanton, and Ionic, with respectively, 8,295, 7,840, and 
9,691 carcasses, and also killed for the Dunedin's second 
voyage 8,295 sheep, these being railed to the Dunedin and 
frozen on board. The British King also sailed in the same year, 
1883, with some 10,000 carcasses. In 1884 the New Zealand 
Refrigerating Co. froze and shipped 72,420 carcasses up to 
July, and up to July, 1885, it froze and shipped 77,370 
carcasses and 54 cattle. During 1885, 39,370 carcasses of 
sheep were frozen on board the s.s. Elderslie at Oamaru. 
The freight paid on the mutton carried by this vessel was 
2Jd. per Ib. 

Mr. John Roberts remained a director of the New Zealand 
Refrigerating Co. till 1905, when it was wound up and 
absorbed by the Christchurch Meat Co. Mr. Thomas Brydone 
had joined the board in 1884, and these two gentlemen always 
took a leading part in the development of the trade. The 
Otago District thus started the frozen meat trade in New 
Zealand, but now lags far behind, being outstripped by Canter- 
bury, and Southland, and the North Island. 

Canterbury Frozen Meat Co. The second company to be 
formed was the Canterbury Frozen Meat and Dairy Produce 
Co. with a capital of 20,000. The names on the circular 
convening the meeting on November 11, 1881, which led to the 
formation of the company, were : John Grigg, of Ashburton, 
John Tinline, of Amuri, and John Macfarlane, of Coldstream, 
Rangiora. Mr. John Cooke, then Canterbury manager of the 
New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Co., was 
largely instrumental in the formation of the company ; he wrote 
to the gentlemen named, and obtained their permission to 
summon the meeting in their names. Messrs. Frederick Banks, 
William Chrystall, John Cooke, John T. Ford, and John Grigg, 
were the first directors, Mr. Frederick Waymouth being 
appointed secretary, pro tern. The promoters, naturally, 
knew very little about mechanical refrigeration then, and had 
to grope their way from the very start. There was the 
inevitable " battle of the sites," and Lyttelton itself being 


impossible, they selected Belfast, an excellent location, as it 
proved. A Haslam refrigerating machine of 40,000 cubic feet 
cooling capacity was ordered. The company was fortunate in 
getting as its architect and engineer Mr. Frank Coxon, now of 

The daily killing and freezing capacity was only 250 to 300 
carcasses of mutton, and it was predicted by many business 
men that the export of 2,000 carcasses weekly, if maintained, 
would soon deplete the flocks of Canterbury and bring about 
something like a meat famine. As the freezing works of Canter- 
bury have now a weekly killing and freezing capacity of fully 
150,000 sheep and/or lambs, while the province must have ex- 
ported nearer thirty than twenty million carcasses since 1883, 
such prophecies now seem very absurd. Slaughtering began 
on February 16, 1883, and in April the first shipment was made 
from Belfast on the s.s. British King. Curiously enough, this 
vessel was built at Belfast, Ireland, and she was commanded 
by Captain Kelly, of Belfast, while Mr. John Cooke was born 
in Belfast, a somewhat remarkable chain of circumstances. 

For about five years the Canterbury Frozen Meat Co., which 
was merely a freezing company not operating in stock or the 
export of meat on its own account at all, had the field to 
itself. Another company was promoted, and some capital 
raised, but it did not even buy a site and eventually refunded 
to the applicants the money subscribed. One of the leading 
features of the Canterbury Company was strict adher- 
ence to a high standard of quality, including an absolute 
embargo on the freezing of old ewes. Nothing but prime 
wethers and maiden ewes and prime lambs were accepted by 
the company for treatment, and the directors resisted all 
pressure to relax this rule ; but in 1890 ewe mutton was taken 
for freezing, and some time after that second quality lambs 
were frozen and shipped. The company's leading brands are 
" C F M Co " and " Diamond." It took Belfast six years 
to record 1,000,000 sheep frozen. In 1887 the works were 
enlarged and completely remodelled ; in 1889 by-products 
were taken in hand ; in 1893 a Hall's CO 2 machine was 
installed; in 1896 a Hercules machine was added; and by 


1908 the works had a capacity of 6,000 sheep and lambs per 
day, and storage equal to 120,000 carcasses. In 1809 the 
company established works at Fairfield, Ash burton. Works 
at Pareora, South Canterbury, were opened on April 7, 1904 ; 
these have a capacity of 4,500 sheep and lambs per day, and 
storage space equal to over 100,000 carcasses. 

The question of freight greatly embarrassed this company's 
early operations. In May, 1887, the company, together with 
Nelson Brothers and the Southland company, signed a contract 
wit h the Tyser Lane, and with the advent of the Balmoral Castle, 
the first Tyser steamer sent out, the difficulty about tonnage 
gradually disappeared. The capital of the company is now 
225,000, and during the twenty-five years of freezing the 
company has paid in all 191 per cent, dividend on the ordinary 
shares. The present directorate is : Messrs. John C. N. 
Grigg, James Gough, Sir George Clifford (chairman), George 
Humphreys, and R. H. Rhodes. 

Gear Meat Co. The next freezing concern to be registered 
in New Zealand was the Gear Meat Preserving and Freezing 
Co. of New Zealand. This was formed in November, 
1882, for the purpose of acquiring the butchering and meat 
preserving business of the late Mr. James Gear, at Wellington, 
in the North Island. The slaughtering capacity at the start 
was 600 sheep and 40 cattle per day ; at the present time it is 
over 6,000 and 100 respectively. The refrigerating system 
originally employed was cold air compression, afterwards re- 
placed by C0 a compression machinery. The first directors 
were Messrs. P. A. Buckley, J. Duthie, R. Greenfield, W. H. 
Levin, J. R. Lysaght, J. McKelvie, N. Reid, J. S. M. Thomp- 
son, and James Gear, managing director. The present board 
are Messrs. D. Anderson, H. Beauchamp, H. D. Bell, J. R. 
Blair, A. K. Newman, N. Reid, and W. H. Millward, chair- 
man and managing director, and the secretary is Mr. W. H. 
Tripe. Mr. Gear died in 1911, at the age of seventy-five, 
and was chairman of directors up to the time of his death. 
With a consistent policy and under able management the 
Gear Co. has had a very successful career. It possesses one 
of the most complete freezing establishments in Australasia. 


Nelson Brothers. The operations of Nelson Brothers have 
been alluded to ; their works were first erected at Tomoana, 
and afterwards at Waipukurau and Woodville. The company 
now has two establishments in the Hawke's Bay district 
Tomoana and Gisborne. Woodville has been sold to a bacon- 
curing company, and Waipukurau is dismantled. The daily 
killing capacity and the sheep storage of these works are respec- 
tively 6,100 and 160,000. Messrs. Nelson Brothers also have 
works at Hornby, Canterbury district. The company built the 
Ocean Beach works at the Bluff, now owned by Messrs. Birt 
and Co., Ltd., of London. It is generally considered that the 
most carefully conceived plan for carrying on the frozen 
meat trade was that proposed by Mr. William Nelson. Many 
of the New Zealand sheep growers had no faith in the perma- 
nency of the new industry, and some were actively in oppo- 
sition, so Mr. Nelson, who formed clear ideas as to buying 
arrangements in New Zealand and a selling organization in 
London, entered into contracts with farmers in various dis- 
tricts. In 1887-88 Nelson Brothers made forward contracts 
with sheep farmers, giving 2d. per Ib. for the carcass unfrozen, 
sellers also getting the full value of the skin and fat. 

The Christchurch Meat Co. In 1888 it was made 
quite clear that many producers were dissatisfied with the 
system of consigning their meat to London for sale, and 
that they wished to determine their risks by selling their 
stock alive to a freezing company or a speculative exporter. 
Up to that time freezing had been carried on by the larger 
growers and stock owners. The farmer, in contradistinction to 
the sheep grower or squatter, realized that he was not 
obtaining for his stock a price equivalent to what was being 
realized by those who were freezing and shipping sheep. He 
himself had not the large supplies to draw from to enable him 
to contract forward for freezing space, or to make regular 
shipments to London. The late Mr. James Watt, and the 
late Mr. Peter Cunningham, in conjunction with Mr. John 
Cooke, were mainly instrumental in forming the Christchurch 
Meat Co., Ltd., a concern established to conduct the 
business on new methods. The old Templeton preserving 


works and property were acquired, the name being changed 
to Islington. Thus the Islington freezing factory came into 
existence. The first directors of the Christchurch Meat Co., 
Ltd., were Messrs. J. M. Watt, John Cooke, David Morrow, 
Joseph Murgatroyd, Mcgregor Watt, Peter Cunningham, and 
S. K. Bassett. The present directors are Messrs. H. A. Knight 
(chairman), Thomas Teschemaker, John Roberts, C.M.G., 
and the Hon. H. F. Wigram. Mr. Wm. Murray is manager, 
and Mr. W. O. Campbell is secretary. 

A word or two may here be said about the London repre- 
sentation of the Christchurch Meat Co. In 1896 the company 
decided to send Mr. John A. Randall to supervise its interests 
in London. Mr. Randall had a thorough knowledge of the 
trade from a farmer's point of view ; he remained in 
London for about a year, until Mr. Robert Galloway, the 
company's manager at Timaru, was sent to London as the 
representative. On Mr. Galloway leaving to join the firm of 
Gordon, Woodroffe and Co. in 1900, Mr. Randall again took 
charge. On Mr. Randall's early and regretted death in 1901, 
Mr. A. W. Pottinger took the position, which he held till 
1905. From 1905 to 1910 Mr. William Henderson represented 
the Christchurch Meat Co. at West Smithfield, and on his term 
of agreement expiring he returned to New Zealand, when he 
was succeeded by Mr. F. T. Boys, the company's secretary at 
Christchurch ; Mr. Boys is the London manager at the present 
time ; the office is at 64, West Smithfield, E.G. 

At the company's start the slaughtering capacity was 500 
sheep per day, and now it is about 15,000 and 100 cattle at 
the Islington, Smithfield, Picton, Oamaru, and Burnside works. 
Cold air refrigerating machinery was originally used, but the 
ammonia compression system is now employed. The successful 
starting of the company took place at the beginning of 
the era of the modern, well equipped, freezing works. The 
Christchurch Meat Co. was really founded in the interests of 
the small farmer who could not afford to consign his meat 
to London, or whose stock available for freezing was not 
considerable enough for him to undertake the export trade. 
The company pooled these farmers' lots. 

F.M. F 

Mr. John Cooke sends the following remarks concerning the 
new conditions then introduced : " The rivalry created between 
the two freezing companies was very beneficial to producing 
interests, as not only did it ensure full values, but it proved a 
great stimulus to breeding and fattening ; indeed, the example 
shown to the rest of New Zealand is admitted to have been 
one of the most important factors in the great progress of the 
Colony during the last twenty years. Prior to 1883 there were 
periods of great depression in values of stock and landed 
property, but the frozen meat industry quickly provided a 
huge outlet, and gave a permanence to pastoral and agricultural 
enterprise which cannot be disputed. I remember seeing 
shorn sheep sold by the score because the price was so low 
that they had hardly any value per head. The pelts after the 
wool was taken off were so valueless at one time that the 
cheapest method of disposing of them was by burying them in 
pits immediately they left the puller's beam. 

" One of the initial obstacles to the speedy expansion of the 
trade was the scarcity of refrigerated space, and the greatest 
trouble was experienced by freezing companies (1) in getting 
sufficient insulated tonnage, and (2) in obtaining a reasonable 
rate of freight. The rate of freight was originally 2fd. per lb., 
including freezing on board ship, but when steamers were 
introduced a reduction to Ifd. per lb. was secured, at which it 
stood for some time. The total charges for treatment, freight, 
insurance, and selling, were originally in the neighbourhood of 
3d. per lb., a figure which was prohibitive if the trade was to 
assume any magnitude, and having regard to the undoubted 
prejudice which frozen meat had originally to contend with 
at the hands of the British consumer. 

" Generally speaking, the shipowners from the outset recog- 
nized the wisdom of friendly and active co-operation with the 
freezing companies, but they made one serious blunder which 
producers and freezing companies deeply resented, but which, 
fortunately, was quickly remedied. They allied themselves 
with certain manufacturers of refrigerating machinery under an 
agreement whereby the manufacturer was to supply their 
steamers alone with his plant, while the shipowner was to use 




that special plant exclusively. By that attempted restraint it 
was expected that outside refrigerated tonnage would be 
excluded from New Zealand, and that further reduction on 
freight would be prevented. 

" One of the great ambitions of the directors of the 
Canterbury Frozen Meat Co., actively led by the late 
Mr. John Grigg, was to get the rate of freight reduced to the 
' round Id. per lb.,' and when this was accomplished, with the 
assistance of the Into .Mr. W. H. Tyser, there was great 
rejoicing in pastoral circles. This brought the consolidated 
charges down to under 2d. per lb., and was the means of stimu- 
lating production all over the South Island in a remarkable 

The first venture undertaken by the Christchurch Meat 
Co. was killing the stock at Islington, and freezing on 
board the sailing ship Wellington. This shipment, which 
realized remarkably good prices, consisted mainly of lambs, 
and was handled by Messrs. W. Weddel and Co., who had just 
started in business when the cargo was entrusted to them. 
The cargo was sold splendidly. The prices realized would 
make shippers' mouths water to-day ; from 6d. to 9d. per lb. 
was fetched for lambs ! The Christchurch Meat Co. saw 
that if it was to carry out the wishes of the farmer, 
it must be in a position to do the work thoroughly, and, 
therefore, special attention was paid to working up the by- 
products. Up to this time the pelts and the largest portion 
of the viscera were simply buried, in many works even the 
blood was allowed to run to waste. The Christchurch Meat 
Co.'s first concern was to utilize these by-products, and 
to work up a scheme which would result in the company 
making the greater proportion of its profits out of these and 
the skin and fat, looking on the meat mainly as a by-product 
of the works. 

Within two years of the start of the company's opera- 
tions, that is, in 1891, Mr. Gilbert Anderson was asked 
to take up the position of managing director, and it was 
under his management that the scheme just mentioned was 
carried out, and that the general organization of the company's 

F 2 


business was brought up to an excellent standard. Special 
attention was given to grading the sheep, not only for quality, 
but for weight. This enabled the c.i.f. business to be put on a 
proper footing, and the standard and grades which were 
established at these works have been extensively adopted 
throughout the New Zealand freezing industry. 

The Christchurch Meat Co., in 1893, took over the works 
and business of the South Canterbury Freezing Co. 
at Timaru. In two years' time these works were enlarged, and 
named Smithfield. Another absorption took place in 1899, 
when the Wairau Freezing Co.'s business was taken over, 
this necessitating the erection of new and modern works 
at Picton. In 1905 the company absorbed the New Zealand 
Refrigerating Co., with its works at Burnside, Dunedin ; 
and Oamaru. The Christchurch Meat Co. has always 
been progressive, enterprising, and modern. In 1906 Mr. 
Anderson retired from the company. 

Wellington Meat Export Co. The Wellington Meat Export 
Co. was incorporated in September, 1881, as a farmers' 
freezing company. The late William Dilnot Sladden, who 
joined the company as manager, later added the c.i.f. principle 
to the business ; Mr. F. D. Sladden, his son, is the present 
secretary. This company has shown considerable enterprise 
in the utilization of new machinery, the directors being the 
first to introduce ammonia refrigerating machines into use 
at freezing works. The company's works have been recently 
rebuilt in brick, and raised to a killing capacity of 6,000 sheep 
per day with a storage capacity of 150,000, the freezing 
capacity at the start being only 300 sheep per day. The 
producer gas system has been introduced for power, driving 
not only the refrigerating machines but also the by-pro- 
ducts machinery. Hercules ammonia compression machinery 
cooling on the direct expansion system is now installed, the 
plant used at the beginning of operations being the Haslam 
air compression machine. The first directors were Messrs. W. 

C. Buchanan, W. Booth, George Beetham, J. T. Dalrymple, 
H. H. Lang, J. R. Lysaght, J. E. Nathan, Chas. Pharazin, and 

D. Peat. The present directors are Messrs. W. G. Foster 



(managing director), W. C. Buchanan, M.P., W. H. Beetham, 
Charles Elgar, E. Newman, M.P., J. W. Marshall, and 
J. Campion. 

Longburn Freezing Co. The Longburn Freezing Co. 
was established in 1895 ; Longburn is 80 miles from Welling- 
ton, on the main line of railway. The original directors were 
Means. C. Bull (chairman), J. McLennan, R. S. Abraham, J. 
O. Batchelor, D. Buick, and Howard ; Mr. J. Beale was 
manager. The original slaughtering capacity was 800 sheep 
and 25 cattle per day. Now the works can slaughter 1,000 
sheep and 80 cattle daily, and the storage space is equal to 
25,000 carcasses. Haslam machines were first installed, Linde 
plant now being used. In 1896 the company was taken over 
by the National Mortgage and Agency Co. of New Zealand. 
Mr. J. Anderson is the manager of the Longburn Freezing 

Auckland Farmers' Freezing: Co. The Auckland Farmers' 
/.ing Co. was established in 1903, the works being 
completed and killing started in March, 1905. The capital of 
the company is 75,000, of which 43,830 has been issued, 
and the directors are Messrs. J. Barugh (chairman), J. E. 
Makgill, H. E. Worsp, G. Goodwin, S. Wing, S. J. Ambury, 
and L. J. Bagnall ; with Mr. H. G. Stringer as manager 
and secretary. The daily killing capacity is 1,600 sheep 
and 100 cattle, and the storage space is equal to 45,000 
carcasses. Haslam ammonia compression machines are em- 
ployed. The Auckland Farmers' Freezing Co. in 1906 bought 
out the Auckland Freezing Co., which was established in 
1884. The farmers of the province thereupon decided to 
build works of their own, and, negotiations with the pro- 
prietors of the old company having failed, they erected 
works at Southdown, near Auckland. In 1906, as stated, 
the Farmers' Co. took over the Auckland works of the old 
company. The stock and offal are frozen at Southdown and 
railed to the ship's side, and the local freezing is done at the 
Auckland works. 

Wanganui Meat Freezing Co. The Wanganui Meat Freez- 
ing Co., Ltd., was established in 1891 at the mouth 


of the Wanganni river. The first directors were Messrs. E. A. 
Campbell (chairman), A. Burnett, H. Cornfoot, J. B. Murray, 
A. J. Parsons, G. S. Robertson, William Ritchie, and John 
Stevenson. Mr. C. M. Cresswell, the secretary, states that 
when operations were started, and for a few years afterwards, 
the output of the works was nearly all sheep, with a few cattle. 
Now more lambs than sheep are put through, and the quality 
of the lamb is improving year by year, owing mainly to the use 
in the district of Southdown rams. Twenty years ago the 
sheep round Wanganui were nearly all Lincoln, since then 
Romney and Leicester rams have been largely used for 
general purposes and the Down ram for lamb raising. The 
Wanganui works have a killing capacity of 3,500 sheep a 
day, with a storage capacity of 60,000 carcasses. 

Qisborne Sheepfarmers' Frozen Meat Co. The Gisborne 
Sheepfarmers' Frozen Meat Co., Ltd., started work in 
1902. The first directors were Messrs. C. A. de Lautour, 
(chairman), F. B. Barker, W. R. Barker, John Clark, William 
Cooper, W. K. Chambers, F. Hall, E. M. Hutchinson, P. T. 
Kenway, and W. D. Lysnar. The board at present is com- 
posed of Messrs. C. A. de Lautour (chairman), F. B. Barker, W. 
R. Barker, W. K. Chambers, Charles Gray, E. M. Hutchinson, 
F. Hall, John Clark, F. Holden, and C. J. Parker. Mr. W. F. 
Cederwell has been manager from the beginning. The 
slaughtering capacity at date of establishment was 800 
sheep per day ; now it is 4,500, and 150 cattle. A Hercules 
refrigerating machine cooling on the direct expansion system 
is installed. The company was formed on co-operative lines ; 
in 1908 30,000 was paid in wages. 

Waitara Freezing Works. The Waitara Freezing Works 
were purchased in 1902 by Messrs. Thomas Borthwick and 
Sons, Ltd. The directors of the old company when taken over 
were Messrs. G. Riddell, E. H. Godsal, J. Hine, A. A. Fantham, 
H. Goode, and G. Bailey. The works were destroyed by fire 
in 1904, and were rebuilt on an enlarged plan in the following 
year. The daily capacity is now 150 cattle and 750 sheep, 
and the storage capacity is equal to 40,000 carcasses. 

Hastings Freezing Works. The Hastings Freezing Works, 



To fact p. 70. 


Paki-Paki, Hawko's Bay, wore croctod by Messrs . Borthwick 
in 1905. The daily capacity is 30 cattle and 2,000 sheep, 
u ith a storage capacity of 30,000 carcasses of mutton. 

The Wellington Farmers' Meat Co. This company was 
formed in 1909. The Board consists of the following gentle- 
men : Messrs. J. C. Cooper (chairman), R. Clephane, F. B. 
Lowes, J. R. Franklin, R. D. MoKenzie, T. Hodgins, and 
George Pain. The works are situated near Masterton, 
Wairarapa, and the daily slaughtering capacity is equal to the 
handling of over 2,000 sheep. 

The Nelson Freezing Co. This company began shipping in 
1908. The directors are : Messrs. George MacMahon (chair- 
man), A. Drummond, F. W. Fairey, Frank Hamilton, D. T. J. 
Rouse, and J. 8. Wratt. The works are at Stoke, and the 
capacity is given as 1,000 sheep per day, with storage equal 
to 30,000 carcasses. 

The Ocean Beach Works, Bluff (owned by Birt and Co., 
Ltd.), were erected in 1891 ; the North British and Hawke's 
Bay Freezing Co. (Napier Works) were built in 1888 ; the 
Patea Farmers' Co-operative Freezing Co., began exporting 
meat in 1904 ; the Southland Frozen Meat and Produce 
Export Co., formed in 1884, has works at Mataura and the 
Bluff ; and the Tokomaru Sheepfarmers' Freezing Co. began 
shipping in 1911. 

Such are the particulars of the establishment and progress 
of New Zealand's meat freezing works. A full list of these 
works in the Dominion will be found in Appendix VII. Refer- 
ence may now be made in a general way to the process of 
development under which the meat works of to-day have 
attained their fine equipment and completeness. 

Refrigerating Installations. Of course, the meat works in 
the early eighties were primitive affairs. Freezing for export 
was quite a speculation, and there were many " doubting 
Thomases " in New Zealand, either actively or passively 
antagonistic to the new industry. The scale of shipments was 
small, both on account of the limited capacity of vessels and 
limited trade in England. So, everything was elementary, and 
the design and equipment of the freezing establishments were 


crude. As time went on and the market value in England of 
frozen meat fell, it was naturally found necessary to effect 
economy in the general organization of the works. About 
1890 it was plain that the actual freezing was costing too 
much. The cold air machine had been used successfully, 
but it was expensive in the matter of fuel consumed. British 
engineers were not alert in meeting the felt want, and New 
Zealanders had to go to America to gain information. The 
British refrigerating machinery manufacturers, as soon as they 
saw their business being threatened, set themselves to 
supply an economical freezing machine, with the result that 
the Haslam and the Linde ammonia machines, and Hall's COa 
machine, are the types of refrigerating plant used in New 
Zealand to-day. The American Hercules ammonia machine 
is found at some works. A Linde " Disc " machine installed 
in the new works of the Wellington Meat Export Co. was the 
first departure from the cold air principle. This was followed 
by ammonia machines cooling on the direct expansion system 
being fitted at Islington, and by Hall's carbonic acid machines 
cooling on the brine system at Belfast. 

In 1891 there were seventeen freezing works in New Zealand, 
with a total freezing capacity of 3,665,000 sheep a year, and in 
1911 the number of works had increased to 31, with a capacity 
for dealing with 82,000 sheep per day. 

The Operations at a New Zealand Meat Works. In New 
Zealand the invariable practice is to have the whole works 
complete in a series of buildings. The stock are brought by rail 
or road to the drafting yards. All stock suitable for freezing 
are carefully drafted, and animals not suitable for freezing are 
either sent back to the farms or killed for tinning. The stock 
after leaving the yards are driven into carefully constructed 
abattoirs, where they are readily handled by the slaughter- 
men under the very best approved sanitary conditions. The 
stock are then killed and dressed, and the offal is at once re- 
moved to the buildings for treating the by-products. The 
carcasses are carefully cleaned, dressed, graded, weighed, and 
passed into the cooling room. In most of the New Zealand 
slaughterhouses the cooling room is constructed in such a 


manner as to allow for a rapid current of air, which quickly 
cools down and " seta " the carcass. In the northern portion 
of New Zealand, and in most of the Australian work*, the 
cooling has to be assisted by artificial means brine pipes or 
cool air. As soon as the carcasses are " set," they are con- 
veyed invariably by overhead rail to the freezing rooms, 
which are long narrow apartments where the carcasses remain 
suspended from the rails till they are hard frozen. The actual 
time taken in freezing varies according to the lowness of the 
temperature applied, and ranges from 36 to 60 hours. As soon 
as the carcasses are frozen thoroughly hard, bags are put on, 
with numbers corresponding to the tickets indicating the 
grade and quality which have been attached to the carcasses 
when graded. Immediately after bagging, the carcasses are 
fit to go into the store room, where they are stacked up one 
on top of the other, the various marks and numbers being 
kept separate until ready for shipment. The frozen sheep 
and lambs are loaded direct into insulated railway vans and 
conveyed to the steamer. In almost all the New Zealand ports 
the steamers are provided with loading port-holes. Canvas 
awnings are spread between the dock and the steamer, and 
the carcasses are passed rapidly from the vans along wooden 
shoots through the portholes into the refrigerated holds of the 

This rough sketch of the operations at a New Zealand freez- 
ing works conveys but a poor idea of the thorough methods 
and scientific management now practised in the meat freezing 
industry of the Dominion. The figures and facts given by Sir 
Joseph Ward in Chapter XXII. show at a glance the splendid 
results flowing from the meat freezing industry, and these 
results the direct outcome of the operations at the freezing 
works indicate a very considerable effectiveness in the general 
system and management of the frozen meat industry in New 



THE story of the rise and development of the Argentine 
frigorifico, or freezing works, could be made romantic, so 
abounding with stirring events has it been. The tale of the 
beginnings of the freezing industry in South America has 
been told in the chapter of this book in which the authors 
have endeavoured to immortalize some of refrigeration's 
pioneers. From these beginnings, founded partly with British 
capital, great successes have arisen, though the movements of 
the Argentine meat exporting companies have not been 
uniformly forward nor financially successful year by year. 
But the results achieved, both in the dividends to shareholders 
and the establishment of a splendid industry, helpful to both 
the estanciero and the meat exporter, form a record of which 
all persons engaged in the business may well be proud. The 
descent upon Argentina of the North American " Trust " houses 
has been the most startling event in the later stages of the 
Argentine meat export industry, and it is a subject of frequent 
discussion how far-reaching that important happening is des- 
tined to be in future developments. 

Before describing the various meat freezing enterprises in 
Argentina and their development, it may be well briefly to 
review the growth of the industry in that country. The first 
period of the freezing industry in Argentina may be said to 
have closed in 1899, up to the end of which year 442,000,000 
kilos, of mutton and 29,000,000 kilos, of beef were exported by 
the three great concerns (Sansinena's, River Plate Fresh Meat 
Co., and Las Palmas [J. Nelson and Sons] ) which held the field 
without competition. The shipments of mutton year by year 
showed wonderful expansion. Frozen beef was shipped 
irregularly up to 1895, in which year this section of the Argen- 
tine meat trade was begun in earnest. It is worth giving the 


figures to show the rate of increase : 1895, 1,587,000 kilos. ; 
1896, 2,996,000; 1897, 4,241,000; 1898, 5,867,000; 1899, 
9,079,000. Increases were shown in the shipment of this 
article right away from 1895 to 1906. During this period lambs 
were of no account ; in 1897 12,000 were shipped to England, 
but after that the shipments were reduced, and thus did not 
compete with the increasing Australasian trade in this article. 

The Live Cattle Trade and its Stoppage. 

The closing of the English ports to Argentine cattle in 1900, 
owing to the outbreak in the Republic of foot-and-mouth 
disease, was a great stimulus to the frigorificos. The serious 
disturbance caused by the crisis is seen in the fact that the 
respective values of live stock and frozen meat exported in 
1899 were $8,482,511 and $2,665,073, gold. The import of 
Argentine live stock into Great Britain was prohibited by an 
Order under the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Act after 
April 30 of that year. For the four years 1896 to 1899 
Argentine fat cattle imported into English markets had 
averaged 80,000 head ; sheep, 380,000 ; and the sudden cessa- 
tion of these considerable imports had, of course, a dislocating 
effect for the time upon the various industries at the export 
end, also causing much embarrassment to the cattle salesmen 
and " carcass butchers " in Great Britain. The shippers in 
the United States in the following year increased their 
despatches of live cattle and sheep heavily. In 1903, from 
March 1 to June 13, British ports were again opened to Argen- 
tine live stock, and 110,000 animals were shipped in that 
period. Great pressure had been brought to bear upon the 
Government to take this step, which, however, in the opinion 
of practical persons, was unwise. Upon the discovery of foot- 
and-mouth disease in cattle sent to South Africa and Great 
Britain, the ports were again closed, and, taking all things into 
consideration, it is doubtful if they will ever be again opened 
to Argentine live stock. 

The high-water mark of the importation of live stock from 
all countries for slaughter in British markets was, for cattle, 


643,000 head, in 1890, and for sheep, 1,056,000, in 1895. 
The dead meat trade, preferable in every way, has forged 
ahead steadily, and imports of North American live stock will 
probably soon be a thing of the past. 

Although the above remarks are somewhat of a digression, 
it is well to place on record the circumstances which led to the 
stoppage of the Argentine live stock exports to Great Britain. 
This undoubtedly placed the frigorifico men in a stronger 
position it gave them cheaper stock to buy at home and an 
expanded market in Great Britain. Frozen meat production 
increased by leaps and bounds ; the export in 1900 to Great 
Britain was 76,338 tons, and in 1903 this had grown to 131,000 
tons. The triennial period, 1901 to 1903, Dr. Berges (of the 
national bacteriological institute of Buenos Aires, the 
chronicler of the records of Argentina's meat export industry) 
terms Argentina's " golden age of the freezing industry." It 
was so, indeed, to the shareholders of the three companies pre- 
viously mentioned, which still held undisputed possession in 
1902. Not alone was the cessation of Argentine live stock 
shipments to Great Britain in their favour ; drought in Aus- 
tralia crippled meat exporters there, the war in South Africa 
attracted meat imports, and labour troubles in New York and 
Chicago reduced North American live and dead meat exports. 
Never was so favourable a group of factors present in one year, 
and it was these circumstances which led to the establishment 
of other freezing concerns in the Argentine. 

River Plate Fresh Meat Co., Ltd. 
To revert to the earliest days, the commercial beginning of 
the great Argentine meat industry was the shipment by the 
s.s. Meaih of 7,500 frozen sheep from the Campana works of the 
River Plate Fresh Meat Co., Ltd., in 1883, an enterprise 
which owed its inception to the late Mr. G. W. Drabble. [The 
date of the earliest attempt (experimental) to export Argentine 
frozen meat was about the year 1877, when the salting factory 
" San Luis," in San Nicolas, shipped trial lots in the holds of 
the s.s. Le Frigoriftque and Paraguay, repeating the experiment 
by the s.s. Teviotdale in 1882.] 


THE LATE >KNK El'l Mil", i>|.|VERA. 

Kit. KM 1 1.10 FKER8. 

To faff f. 76. 


Originally the River Plate Fresh Meat Co. was promoted for 
the freezing, shipping to England, and sale there of Argentine 
sheep, but gradually, as the business advanced, the freezing of 
beef was i-oinmenreil, and from the year IS'.M; onward.- tin- 
export of both rapidly developed. The weight of the beef 
shipped by the River Plate Fresh Meat Co. soon exceeded that 
of mutton. The company's shipments of mutton and beef 
from the commencement of the business (1883) to 1910, twenty- 
eight years, totalled 14,141,588 carcasses of mutton and lamb, 
1,440,595 quarters of chilled and 2,178,987 quarters of frozen 
beef. The first shipment of mutton was despatched to London 
on November 23, 1883, the carcasses averaging 38 Ibs. 

The Campana works are fitted with very complete plant and 
machinery for dealing with the various by-products arising out 
of the business, and improvements and additions are being 
made constantly. The chilling and freezing plant is capable 
of dealing with 800 cattle and 3,000 sheep per day. This is a 
great contrast to the early equipment of the works, as originally 
the plant consisted of a small engine room, cold storage cham- 
bers, two digestors, and a slaughter pen. All the work was then 
manual. The offal was given away or destroyed. It was not 
till 1884 that beef freezing was started in Argentina : frozen 
beef and pork were shipped that year, and in 1886 the first 
lambs were despatched. The River Plate Fresh Meat Co. also 
established a plant at Column, Uruguay, with the idea of ship- 
ping from the two works, but the enterprise did not pay, and 
the machinery was removed in 1888. 

The company's first engineer and manager in the Plate was 
Mr. John Angus, and a large portion of the present complete 
and splendid works at Campana grew up under his manage- 
ment. In 1893 he went to Buenos Aires to act as manager of 
the company, and held the position till 1905, when he retired. 
In 1899 Mr. G. W. Drabble died, and Mr. (now Sir) Henry 
Bell became chairman, a position he held for three years, his 
successor being Mr. Charles Drabble, who was in turn followed 
by Mr. John A. Wood as chairman, Mr. Drabble remaining a 
director. Mr. Wood had been manager and secretary in 
London ever since the company began operations, Mr. Sidney 


Young, who has been with the company since 1884, succeed- 
ing him in that capacity. The London offices of the company 
are at Cecil House, Holborn Viaduct, E.G. 

The following notes concerning the establishment and 
development of the works at Campana of the River Plate 
Fresh Meat Co. are furnished by Mr. Wood : 

" The River Plate Fresh Meat Co.'s freezing works in the 
Argentine were at Campana, on the river Parana, about sixty 
miles above Buenos Aires. The initiation and development of 
an entirely new trade was naturally surrounded with diffi- 
culties, and if it had not been for the ability and resource of the 
then chairman of the company, Mr. George W. Drabble, who 
initiated and brought out the company, and also for the support 
he received from the leading shareholders, the company would 
undoubtedly have succumbed in the early years of its existence. 
In spite of difficulties, the company gradually developed, and 
is now one of the largest exporters of meat and relative by- 
products from the Argentine. According to the figures given 
at the annual general meeting in March, 1910, the imports 
over the twelve months ending December 31, 1909, were just 
50,000 tons, and a further increase was mentioned as probable 
for 1910. The handling, shipping, and distributing, either 
retail or wholesale, of these quantities of meat and by-products 
involve necessarily a large organization, which organization has 
been specially built up to meet the requirements of the 
company's trade. 

" Chilled beef was, as the result of long experiments carried 
out by the River Plate Fresh Meat Co., actually shipped by the 
company on a large scale in the year 1901. The develop- 
ment of this chilled beef business, which was first successfully 
carried out by the company, has been a great factor in the 
development of the Argentine trade, and was rendered possible 
by the improvement in cattle stocks in the Argentine, which 
enterprising estancieros had been carrying out for some years. 
This improvement in cattle and sheep stocks has been continued, 
and the supplies of good -class cattle and sheep available for 
export are greater now than at any time. 

" The system on which the River Plate Fresh Meat Co. has 


been worked has been for the company to control and work 
with their own men the whole business as far as possible, from 
the buying of the live stock in the Plate, and its shipment, 
to the delivery to the retailers or consumers, the aim all 
through having been to meet as far as was practicable the 
consumers' requirements, and the control of the company 
being in the hands of those who were acquainted with what 
was required on this side enabled that object to be fairly well 

" So far as my personal part is concerned, I have from my 
position had to initiate, supervise, and control the various 
developments of the company's business, and the successful 
carrying out of the work has only been possible owing to the 
assistance of a most capable staff both in the Plate and on this 
side. I have, of course, paid many visits to the Argentine in 
connection with the business of the company. 

" I may, perhaps, mention that in the earlier days of the 
River Plate Fresh Meat Co. the development of the industry 
especially in the mutton trade was handicapped by the 
quality in those days of the stock purchased in the Argentine 
being inferior to what was obtainable at the same time in New 
Zealand and Australia. In recent years, however, the quality 
of the Argentine stock leaves little to be desired." 

The San Nicolas Works. 

Contemporaneously with the formation of the English River 
Plate Fresh Meat Co., Mr. Eugenic Terrasson established meat 
works at San Nicolas on the Parana river. His first shipment 
was despatched in 1883 in the Loch Ard, and was composed of 
hindquarters of mutton, a Bell-Coleman machine being installed 
on t he vessel. In 1884 Mr. Terrasson brought out the prospectus 
of La Compania de Carnes Congeladas, capital $250,000, gold. 
There is no precise record of the actual formation of this com- 
pany. The San Nicolas frigorifico worked without inter- 
ruption till 1898. 

Dr. Pierre Berges recorded in a pamphlet published in 1908 
that the San Nicolas works had a frontage of 115 metres and 


occupied an area of upwards of 4 hectares. The depth of the 
river was sufficient to allow of the loading of the frozen meat 
into a liner straight from the refrigerating chambers. In 1890, 
he adds, " this frozen meat warehouse had three large cold 
chambers, able to contain each 4,000 frozen sheep. In 1898 
it had preserved 163,103 sheep, and to-day it is to be sold for 

Thus far Dr. Berges ; but harking back to 1895, when the 
works had been shut up for some time and were under mortgage, 
three English houses became interested in the property, 
Messrs. W. and R. Fletcher, Ltd., the Liverpool Cold Storage 
and Ice Co., Ltd., and Mr. Hudson, the Newcastle shipowner, 
taking over the works. About 1898 the works were let to the 
three Argentine frozen meat companies, the River Plate Co., 
Sansinena's, and James Nelson and Sons, for a minimum period 
of five years, at a rental equivalent to 15 per cent, on the paid- 
up 'capital of 40,000, viz., 6,000 per annum. These com- 
panies promptly shut up the frigorifico, which was not operated 
after that date. Since 1903, when the agreement expired, 
the land, plant, and machinery have belonged to Messrs. 
W. and R. Fletcher, Ltd. 

In 1884 La Congeladora Argentina was founded by the 
Argentine Rural Society to export frozen meat. The capital 
was $1,000,000 paper. In 1885 the first shipment of 1,000 
cattle and 10,000 sheep was made from Zarate. Dr. Pierre 
Berges says that the society did not prosper, and it lost all its 
paid-up capital. 

James Nelson and Sons, Ltd. 

In 1886 Mr. Hugh Nelson, a partner in James Nelson and Sons 
(a firm of cattle salesmen in Liverpool, Dublin, Manchester, and 
London, founded in the early Victorian era, the partners being 
the late Mr. James Nelson and Messrs. William [the present 
baronet], Hugh, and Edward Nelson), went out to Argentina 
and built Las Palmas freezing works at Zarate. A company 
was formed called Nelson's River Plate Meat Co., and in 1889 
this as changed to Nelson's (New) River Plate Meat Co., with an 


extension of capital. In 1892 the company of James Nelson and 
Sons, Ltd., was registered in England to amalgamate the busi- 
nesses of Nelson's (New) River Plate Meat Co. and James Nelson 
and Sons. In 1803 the Las Palmas Produce Co., Ltd. was regis- 
tered in Argentina. This is the South American section of 
James Nelson and Sons, Ltd., who hold all the shares. These 
various concerns were based on the Zarate frigorifico and the 
business proceeding therefrom. Sir William Nelson in 1904 
retired from the joint managing directorship, held with 
Mr. Edward Nelson, of James Nelson and Sons, Ltd., this 
position now being held jointly by Messrs. Edward Nelson 
and T. C. Nelson. The Zarate works cover 168 acres, and the 
pasturages and lairages nearly 3,000 acres. The slaughter 
yards are capable of dealing with 1,000 cattle, 5,000 sheep, and 
250 pigs a day, and the refrigerating chambers, which altogether 
number 70, have a total capacity equal to 7,000 cattle, 90,000 
sheep, and 2,000 pigs. Principally, Linde refrigerating 
machinery is installed, and the plant which was provided in 
1907 to deal with pork products alone cost 40,000. Mr. Philip 
Holmes has been secretary to James Nelson and Sons, Ltd., 
and the earlier company since 1889. The London office of the 
company is at 57, Charterhouse Street, E.G. 

Compania Sansincna de Games Congeladas. 

The well-known and popular brand of frozen meat in English 
markets marked S represents the outturn of the Compania 
Sansinena de Carnes Congeladas, popularly styled in England 
the Sansinena Co. Messrs. S. G. Sansinena and Co. had a boiling- 
down works at Barracas al Sud in the early eighties, and in 
1885 they erected a freezing plant on the site of the present 
La Negra works, and began to export mutton to Great Britain. 
'Hi'- business continued, at first on a small scale, until 1890, by 
which time Messrs. Sansinena were shipping 25,000 sheep and 
lambs a month. In 1891 the business was turned into a com- 
pany under Argentine law, headquarters in Buenos Aires, with 
a capital of 20,000 shares of $100 (gold). The original board 
was : Ernesto Tornquist (president), Robert M. Ramsay, 

r.M. o 


Samuel H. Pearson, Santiago Luro, and Francisco Sansinena 
(managing director). The first shipments to England were 
made to Messrs. James Nelson and Sons, and in January, 1887, 
Messrs. Sansinena established themselves in Liverpool, their 
London office being opened in 1888. The success of the San- 
sinena Co. is a high tribute to the sagacity of the directors and 
the excellent management of the Buenos Aires and European 
managers. Mr. Miles Pasman, who has lately retired from the 
Board of Directors, contributed very largely to the success of 
the company by his capable and vigorous administration in the 
position of managing director. The late Mr. William Cook held 
the position of general manager for Europe from 1887 to 1904, 
and the late general manager for Europe, Mr. John J. Ward 
who retired in 1910 was in the New Zealand frozen meat 
business in 1884 and joined the Sansinena Co. in 1887. Mr. W. 
Dyson Barnitt is now the European general manager, and Mr. 
A. G. Rose is secretary of the London office, Nos. 13-16, Long 
Lane, West Smithfield, E.G. 

The Sansinena Co. has always had far-reaching aims ; during 
the period from 1891 to 1899 it did a considerable export 
business in frozen meat with France, where it had depots at 
Havre, Dunkirk, and Paris. The prohibitive duty and regula- 
tions imposed in 1899, however, brought this to a conclusion. 
Brazil was also selected for trial, and shipments were made 
there, but without startling success. In 1902, following the 
splendid financial trading results, the company built new works 
at Cuatreros (Bahia Blanca). In 1905 Belgium was attacked, 
but the campaign was no more successful than in France. In 
this connection the following extract from the Review of the 
River Plate of January 1, 1909, is of interest : 

" In the matter of destination of frozen meat exports, Great 
Britain continues to be practically our only client. South 
African trade has dwindled down to 35,662 quarters of beef and 
10,804 carcasses of mutton (1908)." 

In 1906 the " Sansinena Distributing Syndicate, Ltd.," was 
formed with a capital of 200,000, of which 125,000 was paid 
up, the Sansinena Co. contributing 50,000. This concern ran 
shops in the chief centres of South Africa, but the depression 


M VI i.lll I K-llol -K. KI'Mil: VI |||K l\ SKi.KX H: tiiiil: 1 H" . 


which hung over those Colonies must have set the distri- 
IH n ing company a heavy task. The Sansinena Co. has a very 
extensive establishment in the United Kingdom : it has 
warehouses, stores, or offices in London, Dublin, Glasgow, 
Cardiff, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Bristol, 
Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, Leicester, Burton, Wolverhampton, 
and Derby. 

A recent enterprise on the part of the Sansinena Co. is 
the outbidding of Messrs. Swift early in 1911 for the pur- 
chase of the Frigorifica Uruguaya. The Sansinena Co. paid 
300,000, or 10,000 more than the price offered by Swift's, for 
this undertaking, which is described later on in this chapter. 
The capital of the Sansinena Co. was in 1911 increased from 
$3,000,000 gold to $4,500,000 gold, this being for the purpose 
of the Uruguaya purchase. 

Twentieth Century Companies. 

Reference has been made to Argentina's " golden year," 

1902. It was then that the estancieros, aghast at the spectacle 
of the frigorificos making their 50 to 100 per cent, profit, natu- 
rally came to the conclusion that they would take a hand at the 
game themselves. La Socie^ Anonyme de Viandes Congelees 
La Blanca was founded by Argentine capitalists in 1902 at 
Buenos Aires, almost all the proprietors being leading estan- 
cieros. The capital was fixed at 300,000 ; the works are 
situated on the river Riachuelo, and operations were begun in 

1903. In 1908 the works were taken over by the American 
Trust companies for 340,000. In the same year the Cuatreros 
factory, erected by the Sansinena Co. as a second string at 
Bahia Blanca, was set going. The next freezing works to be 
started was that constructed at the port of La Plata by the La 
Plata Cold Storage Co. The establishment of the La Plata works 
at Puerto La Plata, excellently situated on deep water, was 
brought about in this way. There was some difficulty in getting 
full supplies of frozen meat about 1902 1903 for South African 
requirements. Australia was out of the trade at that time 
owing to the drought, and the Sansinena and other Argentine 

o 2 


companies would not undertake to sell at all freely, fearing 
to interfere with their connection in England. The Imperial 
Cold Storage Co. had a concession placed before it of the site at 
La Plata by Messrs. Zavala and Co., of Buenos Aires, Mr. Daniel 
Kingsland, Mr. Joseph Moore, etc., just at this time, and the 
company closed with the offer. Works and plant were erected, 
and the system of business established largely on lines suggested 
by Mr. John Cooke, of Melbourne, and Messrs. W. Weddel and 
Co., of London. But when the La Plata works got into working 
order the imported meat trade in South Africa was dying, and 
so the exports were directed to England. The system of 
selling c.i.f. to London was practised and developed, but the 
Imperial Cold Storage Co., having no longer any interest in this 
trade, wished to sell, and so it came about that these works 
passed in 1907 into the hands of Swift's, of Chicago, for 
350,000, thus marking the beginning of a great revolution 
in the frozen meat trade. As the head office of the company 
was always at Cape Town, it is permissible to call La Plata 
a British company. 

The Smithfield and Argentine Meat Co. was formed in 1903 
with a capital of 200,000, the shares being distributed amongst 
English and Argentine capitalists, some leading Smithfield 
Market men subscribing to the enterprise. The freezing 
establishment is near Zarate, and work was started on 
February 24, 1905. This company, which mainly exports 
chilled beef, includes amongst its directors, Messrs. Assheton 
Leaver (W. and J. Biggerstaff), chairman, and P. J. Poels. 
The London office is at 58, West Smithfield, E.G. 

Next we come to a purely Argentine company, the Frigorifico 
Argentine, the capital of which, 250,000, was put up entirely 
by local people. Operations were begun in June, 1905, the 
works being on the river Riachuelo. The success of this 
company in the chilled beef trade has been most marked, 
the uniformly good condition in which its consignments are 
landed giving it a strong hold on the retail trade. Mr. S. 
McC. Rough is manager for the United Kingdom of this 
company, which has its London offices at 40 44, Holborn 
Viaduct, E.G. 


Evolution of Argentine Mutton. 

A word is not out of place here as to the evolution of the 
class of mutton exported from Argentina's frigorificos. 

At the time when meat freezing in Argentina was started, 
the sheep offering were very unpromising for the industry. The 
merino was the national sheep, though a few South Down 
animals had been introduced in 1825, and the Lincoln Long- 
wool was imported with great success several decades later. 
But merino mutton was shipped by the freezing companies for 
years after the beginning of the exporting business, and the 
pioneers were much handicapped in selling such an inferior 
article against the well-grown, meaty, New Zealand carcass. 
On referring to some of the old London price lists, one 
notes that in 1884 New Zealand mutton was quoted at 3s. to 
3s. 4d. per stone, whilst River Plate was priced at 2s. to 2s. 8d. 
From the same source of information it appears that in 1886 
(June) a considerable improvement both in breed and condition 
was observed by London salesmen in the latter class of mutton. 
The necessity to improve upon the lean, light-carcassed, 
merino sheep in order to put up a serious competition with 
New Zealand cross-bred mutton in Smithfield was no doubt 
a considerable factor in the bettering of the estancieros' flocks 
in Argentina by a beginning being made in the great import 
trade in high-class rams from British pedigree flocks. 

Other South American Contributors. 

Argentina, though the principal, is by no means the only 
frozen meat exporting State of South America. British 
territory in the South Atlantic the Falkland Islands did 
a considerable business for some years ; Uruguay contributes 
frozen mutton, lamb, and beef, to the needs of Great Britain ; 
and down at the southern tip of South America there are a 
couple of freezing works on the Straits of Magellan, both in 
Chilian territory. Venezuela is the latest South American 
principality to enter the trade. 

To detail first the connection of the Falkland Islands with 
the industry, it may be said that the Falkland Islands Co. 


entered the field in 1886 with a shipment of 30,000 sheep in the 
steamer Selembria. The vessel arrived at London on July 15, 
1886, and she delivered two other lots, 45,000 carcasses, in 1887. 
The sheep were about 64 Ibs., " rather lean." When first 
offered, the mutton made 4|c. to 5\d. per lb., or about }d. 
under the price of New Zealand mutton. Later, the Falkland 
Islands mutton made a lower average market price, 3\d. to 
5%d. per lb. It was understood that these shipments were 
disastrous in every way. It is said that 7s. 6d. in the 
of the capital embarked was lost. 

After these three shipments the Falkland Islands Co. dropped 
out, and Messrs. Spearing and Waldron took up the running. 
The Waldrons had been connected with sheep breeding in 
the Falklands from the earliest times. The firm chartered the 
Hengist, a sailing ship of about 1,500 tons, which had been 
engaged in the New Zealand frozen meat trade. This vessel 
made her first trip in 1890, and continued to bring a shipment 
yearly till 1895 ; in her six voyages the vessel conveyed about 
100,000 carcasses. The Hengist loaded and froze sheep at two 
ports, San Carlos on the east and Port Howard on the west. 
Two lifeboats were lashed together and a platform was put on 
them both. The mutton was placed on this and transferred 
thence to the 'tween decks of the ship and frozen on board ; 
then it was stowed below and shipped at intervals. Some 
of the shipments sold fairly well, but the sheep were too 
big and coarse for Smithfield buyers, and the lack of grading 
told against them the mutton could not compete with that 
from New Zealand. The net return to the farmers was about 
Id. to l|d. per lb., 5s. to 7s. per head. If 20,000 sheep could 
have been got at one port, the enterprise, it is said, would have 
paid. Messrs. Spearing and Waldron shipped on their own 
account, and also as agents for some of the farmers who preferred 
to consign and take their own risk. On the last two trips of the 
Hengist some of the meat was transhipped to the s.s. Hornby 
Grange. The end of the Falkland Islands frozen meat trade 
was the wreck of the Hengist in the Straits of Magellan. The 
trade, as above described, lasted from 1886 to 1895, and in all 
169,973 sheep were frozen and shipped to London. The 


Falkland Islands frozen sheep first shipped were too old. Two 
gentlemen, Messrs. Windsor and Wolff, were mainly responsible 
for the Falkland Islands mutton export business in the early 

Another start was made by the Straits of Magellan Frozen 
Meat Co. in 1896, Messrs. Spearing and Waldron being largely 
interested in that company. The sailing ship Oneida was 
dismantled and turned into a freezing hulk in the Straits of 
Magellan, and is still there. Shipments of mutton from 
Patagonia, frozen on this hulk at Punta Delgada, were made to 
London in the Grange Line boats in 1896, 1897, and 1899 
70,000 carcasses in all. As a matter of fact, the Falkland 
Islands and Patagonian mutton was never much fancied 
at Smithfield. One shipment in 1895, according to the market 
circulars of that year, went as low as 2fd. to 3d. per Ib. 

The third stage of meat freezing for export in this part of 
the world was reached with the establishment of freezing works 
at Rio Seco in 1905. The works are situated on the northern 
shore of the Straits of Magellan, ten miles east of Punta Arenas, 
which is 80 miles from the mouth of the Straits. The pro- 
prietors are the South American Export Syndicate, in which 
Messrs. Houlder Brothers and Birt and Co. are largely interested. 
The first shipment of frozen meat was made in April, 1905. 
The mutton and lamb come under the " Shell " brand. 
The London office is at 102, Fenchurch Street, E.G. 

On December 27, 1906, a number of ranch owners and mer- 
chants met and resolved to erect a freezing works at Puerto 
Sara, San Gregorio, on the Chilian side of the Straits of 
Magellan, 60 miles east of the Rio Seco works. They put up 
39,000, and a month later the Compania Frigorifica de Pata- 
gonia was formed, the head office being in Punta Arenas. 
The ranchers of Gallegos were asked to join, but they 
declined. Haslam's refrigerating machinery was installed 
in the building, the foundation stone of which was laid 
at San Gregorio by Don Pedro Montt, President of Chili, on 
February 25, 1907, and the works were completed on Feb- 
ruary 20, 1908. The president of the company was Mr. Rodolfo 
Stubcnrauch, and the other directors were Messrs. Alejandro 


Menendez, Pablo Van Peborgh, Luis Bonvalot, and Mr. Frank 
H. Townsend, the works manager being Mr. David Anderson. 
The paid-up capital of the company is 65,000. The 
average output for the season is about 150,000 carcasses. The 
shipping season of these Straits of Magellan works is extremely 
short, February to May, as stock cannot be moved in winter. 

It does not require much imagination to picture the whole 
of the Atlantic seaboard from Monte Video possibly from the 
Venezuelan coast to Magellan Straits dotted with freezing 
works for the provision of meat for the Old World. At 
present there is a wide gap between Bahia Blanca, where 
the southernmost freezing works (Sansinena's) in Argentina 
is placed, and the two works on the northern shore 
of Magellan Straits (Chili). But this gap of a thousand 
miles will doubtless be bridged by-and-by. Port Madryn is 
a rising settlement on the Patagonian coast, and at Puerto 
Gallegos (lat. 51 S.), just opposite the Falkland Islands, there 
are canning works, founded in 1898, owned by the Patagonian 
Meat Preserving Co., of London. A freezing plant was added, 
and the Puerto Gallegos frigorifico, under the name of the New 
Patagonia Meat and Cold Storage Co., Ltd., is expected to 
begin operations shortly. A fair number of sheep are avail- 
able between this point and the mouth of the Santa Cruz 
river, about 100 miles farther north. With the development 
of the railway system over the Patagonian portion of 
the Argentine Republic, and the movement of the sheep 
farmers north from the districts of Punta Arenas (the 
region talked of as being full of millionaires), and south from 
Argentina proper over the river Negro, conversation with men 
who know the country leads one to believe that sooner or later 
there will be works right up the coast. The difficulty lies in 
the dryness of the climate of Patagonia the rainfall is small. 
Including three canning works one in Tierra del Fuego 
there are in all five companies in Patagonia preparing mutton 
for export. 

La Frigorifica Uruguaya, which was formed in 1902, had 
an original capital of $500,000 gold, later increased to 
$700,000 (140,000). The promoter and first chairman was 



Seflor Manuel Lessa, a prominent financier. Slaughtering 
was started in December, 1904, and the first shipment of 
frozen meat was despatched to London in the s.s. Sussex in 
March, 1005. The works are fitted throughout with modern 
appliances, and Lande ammonia compression refrigerating 
machinery is driven by triple expansion Sulzer steam engines. 
The original capacity of the works was for the production of 
50 tons per day, and storage of 1,000 tons, but during the 
1909 season the works were extended, and can now produce 
120 tons daily, with a storage capacity of over 2,000 tons. 
In 1910 the company paid 12 per cent, dividend. As mentioned 
above, this frigorifico was purchased in 1911 for 300,000 by 
the Compania Sansinena, and is now being doubled in capacity. 
Uruguay may foe expected to be exploited vigorously in the 
interests of cattle freezing. The Review of the River Plate 
states that " The statutes of the new frigorifico ' Frigorifico 
Montevideo,' have been approved, the capital being two 
million pesos, but the company may commence operations 
when 400,000 pesos have been subscribed." 

Beef from Venezuela. 

The Venezuelan frozen meat venture, begun in 1910, 
geographically belongs to this South American chapter. The 
works at Puerto Cabcllo, from which ^the s.s. Star of Victoria 
took the first shipment of frozen beef on August 7, 1910, 
7,121 quarters (400 tons), are in the latitude 10 N. One 
would think that peculiar difficulties surrounded the prepara- 
tion of frozen meat in such a torrid clime ; probably the only 
other freezing works in the world matching the Venezuelan 
one for tropical situation is the establishment of the Queens- 
land Meat Export Company at Townsville, 19 S. The 
proprietors of the Venezuelan plant are the Venezuelan Meat 
and Products Syndicate, Ltd., domiciled at 16, Finsbury Circus, 
London, E.C. It appears that the cattle available for 
slaughter at Puerto Cabello can be frozen with profit to meet 
the special demands for beef from small-boned, light-weight 
beasts for the northern markets of England. The beef will 


be shipped mainly to Liverpool, for distribution in the 
Manchester, Liverpool, and Glasgow districts. Probably these 
cattle which have so far been killed for hides and fat, in the 
absence of demand are bought cheaply, and the beef will, no 
doubt, prove useful as a secondary quality article. It is 
expected that a great improvement in the available fat stock 
will result from using for grazing purposes the vast cattle 
plains of the Orinoco. The hides and offal will be brought 
over to Liverpool to be worked up ; 1,000 tons of beef can 
be shipped about every ten weeks. The works are now in 
full working order, and chilled beef from them occasionally 
comes to Smithfield market vid Southampton. 

Three Distinguished Argentine Statesmen. 

In the development of Argentina's rural economy, agricul- 
ture, and pastoral progress, there are three names that stand 
out pre-eminently, and seeing that without the great pastoral 
resources of Argentina the meat freezing industry of the 
country could never have reached its present stage, some 
account of the efforts of these three men is not out of place 
here. These are the late Don Eduardo Olivera, and still 
happily with us Don Exequiel Hamos Mexia, and Dr. Emilio 

Don Eduardo Olivera, who passed away in September, 1910, 
was born of a family of estancieros eighty-four years ago. 
Having completed his university career, he travelled, as a 
young man, through Europe, studying in various countries the 
science and practice of rural economy. Returning to his 
country more than half a century ago, he speedily made his 
mark both in the Press and in political circles by his intelli- 
gent and stimulating campaign for the improvement of agricul- 
tural and pastoral methods. This was at a time when the 
majority of landowners heard with indifference any proposi- 
tions for the improvement of their live stock and better cultiva- 
tion of their land. Production was limited to wool, jerked 
beef, hides, and tallow. Wheat was then, and for many years 
subsequently, imported into the country. 

In 1866 Olivera achieved the work with which for all time 


his name will be moat associated, by founding the Argentine 
Rural Society, which may now claim to be the most important 
institution of its class in the world. At first secretary, and 
wards president, of this society, Olivera was for many 
years its most active member, and had the honour of being 
elected its honorary president for life. Amongst many other 
public offices held by him, he was Postmaster-General, Deputy, 
Senator, and interim Governor of the State of Buenos Aires, 
and during all his life held a prominent position in the affairs 
of his country. As a pastoralist, Olivera was a well-known 
breeder of merino sheep, and formed by selection a type called 
the " Argentine merino." Outstanding from all his work for 
the nation's welfare, the offices he so honourably filled, and his 
contributions to rural legislation and progress, there rises the 
man himself , whose virtuous life and sixty years of disinterested 
service to his country will remain a tradition and an example 
for future generations. Genial in manner and simple in his life, 
he was beloved of all, and no surname was necessary to 
individualize the man who was known throughout his country 
as " Don Eduardo." 

Senor Exequiel Ramos Mexia, the member of a patrician 
Buenos Aires family, is at the present time the national Minister 
of Public Works, and in that office, which he has held through 
two Presidencies, he is displaying the same intelligence and 
statecraft that have marked him in the various offices he has 
held related to the country's rural economy. For many years 
president of the Argentine Rural Society, twice Minister of 
Agriculture, president and presiding genius of the drainage 
works of the Province of Buenos Aires (the drainage, at a cost 
of three-and-a-half millions sterling, of sixteen million acres 
of rich land subject more or less to inundation, and probably 
the greatest undertaking of its nature in the world) : it is not 
possible in a brief space to enumerate the many services to 
Argentina's rural industry for which the country is indebted 
to Senor Ramos Mexia. 

The Sanitary Law regarding contagious diseases in animals 
was initiated and carried through by him, and many improve- 
ments in the handling of live stock in transit and inspection of 


meat for export are associated with his name. On his own fine 
estate of Miraflores he is a breeder of Shire horses, pedigree 
Shorthorn cattle, and Lincoln sheep ; the organization there 
and intelligent cultivation of the land are a reflection of the 
ability and thoroughness he displays in public affairs. Sefior 
Ramos Mexia is an admirer of the British and their commercial 
methods, and includes among his personal friends more than 
one distinguished statesman of that nationality. Like many 
of his countrymen, he has put aside the personal convenience 
afforded by his private fortune and condition, to give his 
services to his country. 

Dr. Emilio Frers is the son of one of the first presidents of 
the Argentine Rural Society, and has himself held that office 
twice. Perhaps the best illustration of the esteem in which he 
is held is the incident that occurred when the portfolio of 
Agriculture was first added to the Cabinet. General Roca was 
at that time President of the Republic, and Dr. Frers belonged 
to the opposite political party. General Roca drove to his 
house to tell him that the country's interests were above party 
politics, and that he had come to the man recognized by all as 
the right citizen to organize the new Ministry and be the first 
Secretary of State for Agriculture. Dr. Frers accepted, and 
fully justified the choice that had been made. 

Dr. Frers is an able economist, a gifted writer, and a citizen 
whose integrity has won for him universal esteem. His last 
office was that of president of the Centennial International 
Exhibition of Agriculture held in Buenos Aires. He has 
given much of his time to the welfare of the small agricul- 
turist, the labourer, and the immigrant. He would not inaptly 
be described as the Cobden of Argentina. Essentially a citizen 
with an austere though kindly view of the duties of life, he 
does not court publicity, and, as he once remarked, his con- 
nection with each office he held began by his first refusing it. 
On his estancia " La Estrella," where he breeds Hereford cattle 
and merino sheep, he is beloved by his men ; and it is there, 
surrounded by his family and his books, taking his share in the 
modest county council of the district, that he is happiest. 



Evolution of Mutton Sheep in Australasia. Pedigree sheep 
were imported into New Zealand quite early to improve the 
wool. The Border Leicester, English Leicester, Cheviot, 
and various types of Down rams imported, crossed with 
the merinos from the stations, established the type from 
which " prime Canterbury " meat was obtained. In 1892, ten 
years after the meat export trade was started, the sheep men 
in the Colony were working on well-defined lines as regards 
crossbreeding. The sheep in the Colony numbered 18,000,000, 
8,000,000 in the North Island, and 10,000,000 in the South. 
Of this number there were 6,000,000 merinos, and the crossbred 
sheep were estimated as follow : Lincoln and crosses, 5,750,000, 
Border Leicester, and English Leicester and crosses, 3,000,000, 
Romney Marsh and crosses, 1,150,000, and Shropshire, South- 
down and crosses, 1,500,000. The various English breeds were 
used in New Zealand according to the nature of the country, 
class of wool, fat lamb export, and the ideas of the breeders 
themselves. The question of the most saleable weight of the 
mutton carcass had to be considered. When the trade began 
in 1882, carcasses averaging 80 Ibs. were worth over 6d. per lb., 
but by 1892 the most acceptable weight at Smithfield was 55 Ibs. 
to 60 Ibs. ; it is now 48 to 56 Ibs. The first cross out of a 
merino ewe by an English ram was the most suitable meat in 
London. As a general rule, the New Zealand sheep breeders 
inclined to the use of the Lincoln ram when they desired to 
raise the standard of their flocks as regards weight of fleece, 
and to the English Leicester and Shropshire if the carcass 
wanted improving. 

In Otago, it may be said, there has been less change in 
sheep breeding of late years than in any other part of the 
Dominion. The Border Leicester, Romney, and Lincoln, and 


their crosses, are still to be found in all parts. On back- 
country stations there is a more extended use of the Corriedale. 
The Corriedale was established in the first instance by crossing 
the merino with the Lincoln or Leicester ram. The produce 
were carefully culled, and these " in-bred half-bred " sheep 
were bred from until the breed became well fixed. The 
Corriedale is now a well established breed in New Zealand. 
The merino was only suitable for hilly or very dry country, 
and the wool from the English breed was found coarse. 

The Downs have not made much headway, though the 
Shropshire maintains its position in front of the Southdown. In 
Canterbury the popular breed of sheep is the English Leicester. 
The Lincoln has almost disappeared, and the Romney has still 
only a few supporters. The Corriedale has considerably 
increased in numbers on the front hills in the northern district. 
Persons interested in this subject are referred to a pamphlet 
issued in 1899 by the Christchurch Press on " Sheep Breeding in 
New Zealand." 

In New Zealand crossbreeding is largely a question of lamb 
production. In Australia no great revolution from the 
original merino type of sheep has taken place, such as has 
occurred in New Zealand and Argentina. The frozen mutton 
from Australia is still largely from merino stock ; Australian 
mutton is sold as " merino and/or crossbred," to quote from 
a form of contract. All New Zealand mutton and lamb 
shipped to Great Britain are from crossbred sheep, and so are 
practically all Argentine. 

Systematic tests have been conducted in Australia to dis- 
cover the best cross for fat lamb raising. The general results 
of these experiments seem to point to the Shropshire-Leicester 
merino cross as producing the best results, though crosses with 
the Dorset-Leicester merino worked out almost as well. At 
twelve weeks old lambs from the first-named cross weighed 
62 Ibs., and from the other cross GO Ibs. 

Mr. Grigg's Communication. To elucidate this subject the 
authors asked Mr. J. C. N. Grigg, of Longbeach, New Zealand, 
to place on record his views concerning the evolution of the 
mutton sheep in New Zealand. 

JOHN ..M..... Of LOMOBXACfl, vsi- n\*. M V ll K F.BECTED TO HIS MEMmiV Al AMIHfKlN. 

TV face it. '.'4. 


" At the beginning of the freezing industry in New Zealand," 
writes Mr. (iriirir, " the country had largf numbers of four, six, 
and eight tooth wethers, kept simply for their wool ; the bulk 
of them were merino and first cross in the South Island and 
Lincoln and Romney Marsh in the North Island. The ' first 
cross ' was really a cross between the English Leicester ram 
and merino ewe, or the Lincoln ram and the merino ewe. 
Before freezing started wool was the main profit, as the 
profit from boiling down the surplus sheep was small and 
prices for store sheep and fats ruled very low ; therefore 
the whole returns of a man's property depended on the wool 
and the increase in his stock, and even wool on the average was 
lower about 1875 to 1881 than of late years. 

" When freezing started, the English Leicester increased as 
a stud sheep more than any other breed, because it was found 
that the English Leicester-merino cross was the neatest and 
best sheep for freezing. (The English Leicester is the same in 
New Zealand to-day as it was when freezing started, though 
the old type of English Leicester [a low-set, medium-sized sheep 
of good quality] of forty or fifty years ago has disappeared in 
England). A fairly large number of merino wethers were frozen 
and shipped in the early days of freezing, but did not as a rule 
leave much margin of profit, as merinos looked very dark in 
colour, and sold at low prices compared with first and second 
cross mutton ; the meat of the latter looking bright red and the 
fat whiter than merino. 

" The Border Leicester is a very fine sheep, but it is not a 
breed that corrects want of shape and quality when crossed 
with coarse breeds. It is rather liable to run away on the leggy 
side. But the breed is a very useful one, and is used very 
extensively in Southland and Otago, where a hardy and easily 
fattened sheep is the first essential. A few South and Shrop- 
shire Down flocks were in existence in Canterbury when freezing 
started ; notably John Deans of Riccarton and Samuel Garforth 
had South Down flocks, and my father had a flock of Shrop- 
.^ hi res. The first cargo of frozen sheep and lambs which left 
New Zealand in the sailing ship Dunedin in 1881 contained 
some Down cross sheep and lambs. 


" From 1890 the Shropshire was used very extensively, not so 
much in the North Island as in Canterbury. My father was 
one of the first Shropshire breeders in Canterbury, and I use the 
breed now as well as Southdown on three-quarter-bred 
Leicester and Romney ewes. 

" The English Leicester ram on Romney Marsh ewes produces 
a very useful sheep. If any lambs from this cross are not frozen 
and are carried over for a year, the females make good mothers, 
and the wethers are shapely and fatten readily as ' two-tooths ' 
after having cut a useful fleece ; the meat from the carcasses is 
fairly bright. Where wool is thought more of than quality of 
meat, the Lincoln ram is used on Romney ewes. The Romney 
Marsh breed is the foundation stone of successful sheep farming 
in most parts of the North Island of New Zealand. 

" The Southdown is the most symmetrical sheep in the 
world, and full of short, good quality meat. Now that the South 
Island draws on the North Island for a large number of its 
breeding ewes, mostly Romney Marsh cross, the Southdown is 
rightly becoming more popular in Canterbury. The two 
earliest breeders of Southdowns were Mr. John Deans, of 
Riccarton, and Mr. Samuel Garforth, of Speydon. The breed- 
ing ewes of Canterbury are neater and smaller-boned sheep, as 
a rule, and carry finer fleeces, than North Island ewes. The 
merino foundation is still in evidence in a large proportion of 
the Canterbury flocks ; lambs from these ewes, fattened 
on the short sweet pastures in a clear and rather dry 
climate, make a model lamb in meat and weight for the 
London market. 

" Practically the whole sheep breed of the North Island flocks 
are Romney Marsh cross ; the bulk of the ewes there are of this 
cross. The Romney of to-day in New Zealand is not the fiddle- 
headed sheep of thirty years ago, and it is undoubtedly a 
profitable and popular breed. Full credit must be given to the 
Romney Marsh breed for the large percentage of lambs reared 
in the North Island under a heavy rainfall. 

" A very fine good quality ram, either Southdown, English 
Leicester, or Shropshire, is more necessary to-day in Canterbury 
than ever it was, to give shape and finish to the freezing lamb, 


if we arc to keep up the old quality. For the reason that as 
the merino owe becomes less and less in number, we lose on the 
mother's side one of the main elements of our supremacy in 
quality of meat. Thousands of acres of hill land that used to 
carry merinos are now carrying * in-bred half-breds,' generally 
called ' Corriedales,' most of them Lincoln-merino cross. The 
first and by far the oldest, and I might almost say best, in-bred 
half-bred flock is the one still in existence started by the New 
Zealand and Australian Land Co. on the Levels, near Timaru. 
Since the Levels was sold to the Government, the flock has 
been carried on at Moraki. These sheep have proved on many 
runs in Canterbury more profitable than merino flocks. Heavy 
culling every year is necessary in this made breed between two 
sheep so opposite in character as a Lincoln or Leicester ram 
and a merino ewe. Ewes from the hill in-bred half-bred flocks 
are now coming down on to the plains to be used as farmers' 
breeding ewes for the lamb export trade, and taking the place 
of the old half-bred English Leicester or Lincoln merino, the 
latter, without doubt, one of the most beautiful sheep ever 
produced for mutton and wool combined. As in-bred half- 
breds in many cases are the mothers of the fat lambs to-day, it 
is more necessary to use a very high-class Southdown, English 
Leicester, or Shropshire ram to keep up the quality and shape 
of the sheep. 

" The New Zealand and Australian Land Co., and John 
Little, of Waikari, North Canterbury, were amongst the first 
breeders of in-bred half-breds, now named ' Corriedales.' 
Many others are breeding in-bred half-breds to-day, notably 
Sir George Clifford, of Stonehurst, whose flock is of Lincoln- 
merino foundation. 

" To-day the farmers of Canterbury find the lamb trade 
much more profitable than mutton, as they get for a lamb five 
to six months old the same price as they would get for a 
wether if they kept him another year. Therefore, the bulk of 
the stock in farmers' hands in Canterbury are breeding ewes. 
The English Leicester is still the favoured sheep of Canterbury 
for breeding fat lambs ; from this cross the lamb is of nice 
quality, and the pick of the ewe lambs are kept for breeding. 

P.M. H 


Where farmers on heavy land mix grain growing with lamb 
fattening, the Southdown or Shropshire is used, and all the 
lambs are sent away fat. There is no doubt that from a 
Romney, Lincoln, or Leicester cross ewe the Southdown half- 
bred lamb is of the best freezing quality. Finally, no country 
in the world has a finer record of natural increase in sheep per 
annum ; with a total number of 23,000,000 sheep, New Zealand 
in 1910 exported 1,968,254 sheep and 3,522,333 lambs (without 
reducing her total very much), and fed her 1,000,000 inhabi- 
tants at the same time. The total number of ewes bred from 
were about 10,000,000. I believe the average percentage of 
lambs reared is about 90 per cent., this shows clearly New 
Zealand's splendid advantages as a pastoral country." 

Argentine Imports of Pedigree Stock. The improvement 
of the flocks and herds in Argentina, rendered necessary for 
the successful establishment and prosecution of an export trade 
in meat, began at an early stage by the importation of pedigree 
stock from Great Britain. Argentine buyers for many years 
have been the great supporters of Great Britain's most flourish- 
ing landed industry, pedigree stock breeding ; their determina- 
tion in securing the best animals practically regardless of cost 
and the extensive scale of their operations have resulted in a 
vast improvement in the marketing stock slaughtered for the 
frozen and chilled meat trades. In the thirty-one years, 
1880 1910, Argentina imported from all countries for breeding 
purposes 18,709 cattle and 77,505 sheep. From 1885 to 1908 
an analysis of the imports from Great Britain gives 12,094 
Durham cattle and 55,338 Lincoln sheep. It is not easy to 
estimate the monetary value of these imports of pedigree stock, 
but the figures, 70 per head for cattle, and 15 per head for 
sheep, may be taken to represent the value realized very 
approximately by British breeders for their exports. Applying 
this valuation to the cattle and sheep exported from all countries 
to the Argentine Republic for breeding purposes for the 
period named above, the following totals representing, roughly, 
the f .o.b. values are arrived at : 

Cattle .... 18,709 1,309,630 
Sheep . . . 77,505 1,162,575 



H-iiry l>ii.|.lnii:. Hil>y <ir..\.-. lii iiii-l.y. on July 12, I1XW, to Mr. K. Mill-r, whom- |>rtnit np|Mir li 
UoM Cobo, of KitUncia La Ifc-lcn. AlfMttML Tlic |>rif<- |il. l,4>i XUIIHM<, wan thr lu:li>->t rvrr pat<l tr i 
Ram ablpped to South America. 

7l fact p. 98. 


The average f.o.b. valuation <>t tho 5,618 pedigree bulls 
shipped from the United Kingdom to Argentina from 1903 to 
1009, inclusive, was 100 each. Tho figures of exports of 
tish pedigree stock for the complete period 1880 1910 arc 
not available, but the fact that British breeders exported 15,470 
cattle and 71,359 sheep to the Republic from 1885 to 1910 
(twenty-six years) shows what a preponderating share of the 
business has fallen to them. 

That the expenditure of these large sums by tho enterprising 
Argentine estancieros has been remunerative no one can doubt 
who is acquainted with the good quality of the beef and mutton 
now imported into Great Britain from the Republic. In the export 
beef trade the ideal to work up to is the marketing of chilled 
beef, an article highly superior to frozen beef from a selling point 
of view. That the managers of the Argentine frigorificos are 
able to purchase cattle good enough for chilling may be placed 
to the credit of the policy under which the estancieros and other 
importers have since 1880 spent a sum approaching two and a 
half millions sterling in improving the cattle stock of the country. 
Reference is made in another chapter to the benefit to the 
English and Scotch pedigree stock breeders which has accrued 
by this demand from South America. It is a curious reflection, 
but obvious, that, whilst the British breeders in building up the 
pure-bred stock export trade have brought English agriculture 
in this particular section to a high condition of prosperity, they 
have prepared a rod for the backs of the British farmer ! For, 
although to the public of Great Britain, the 10,500,000 worth 
of frozen and chilled meat imported during 1910 was a blessing, 
it was obviously regarded in quite another light by the 



THIS is a very important and practical department of the 
subject. It would not be difficult to outline the system which 
regulates the handling of the frozen carcass through the various 
stages, from discharge at the London or Liverpool wharf to the 
final destination at the retailer's shop, but something more 
than generalization is wanted here. 

The Argentine Way. 

Before following the meat from ship to shop, it is well to 
take a step backwards and refer to the methods by which the 
shipment of frozen meat is worked. To take the simplest way 
first the South American. Meat shipped from Argentina is 
the property of the freezing works, which, in all but a few 
instances, have their own offices in London, and depots, and a 
complete system for the sale of the meat at various ports and 
important marketing centres throughout England. Messrs. 
James Nelson and Sons have about 1,500 retail shops, and 
two of the other Argentine companies own shops. In the 
case of all the South American frozen meat shipped to Great 
Britain, the officials in England, or the regular agents of 
those companies which have not English offices, take charge 
of and realize the goods in their own shops, on the market, 
or ex store. There is much less forward selling in the South 
American than in the Australasian trade. Much of the 
Uruguayan, Patagonian, and Venezuelan meat is sold forward, 
and Argentine has been, and is occasionally thus sold now. 
One important difference has marked the Argentine selling 
system as compared with the Australasian. In the former 
trade the meat is, as a rule, turned over quickly ; the holders 
have averaged the market values and sold steadily right 


along, and have used the cold stores merely as rccei\ inu' 
ilr|,..ts for their meat. Continuous supplies have enabled 
the Argentine companies to develop distribution pretty well 
on rrtail linos, and owing to regular and continuous imports 
into Great Britain the Argentine houses have been able to 
avoid, to a great extent, the embarrassing accumulations 
ami temporary scarcities which have so frequently caused 
disaster to those engaged in the necessarily more speculative 
Au-trolosian trade, in which, unfortunately, there has always 
been a lack of continuity in supplies. The advantage of an 
extended season enables Argentine shippers to export practi- 
cally uniform monthly quantities. (Australasian works all 
have a more or less lengthy " closed down " period.) Mention 
may be made of the freight contracts for definite quantities, 
to cover long periods, made in the Argentine trade, say, one to 
three years, and shippers are under penalty to ship these 
specified quantities at regular intervals, be the British market 
good or bad, or pay dead freight. 

Australasian Methods. 

The Australian and New Zealand meat export business is 
worked in two ways. First, there is the old-fashioned con- 
signment or commission system, by which the grower or the 
merchant ships on owner's account. All the trade in the early 
days was conducted on this basis. It was then very commonly 
the practice for exporters of small lots to send the meat through 
the banks or wool houses ; such consignees, knowing nothing 
of the frozen meat trade, sent the documents to Smithfield 
salesmen. Nowadays in New Zealand the owner of the stock 
takes the risk of the London market to a limited extent ; in 
Australia the grower does not do this, preferring to sell his 
stock to the freezing companies, which, in order to keep their 
factories going, have to buy from the graziers and pastoralists 
extensively. The Australian producer nowadays is not anxious 
to become a direct shipper to the British market on consignment, 
but in the early days of the Queensland export a very large 
proportion of the beef was sent forward at the growers' risk. 


We may take it that the Australian meat producer, as a rule, 
sells to the shipper, who either consigns or sells forward, accord- 
ing to circumstances. The London offices of the Australasian 
banks receive a small amount of business, but the great bulk 
of consignments is sent direct to the houses which lay them- 
selves out specially for this trade. The advances to the shipper 
are calculated in much the same way as in any other trade, 
and generally bear a fixed relation to the London value of the 
meat at the time of sailing. The charges on account sales are 
generally on one of two bases, either a consolidated rate (a 
method very little used now), which covers all expenses from 
the ship's rail in London up to rendering account sales, or 
charging all actual out-of-pocket expenses, such as lighterage, 
storage, fire insurance, cartage, pitching and market tolls, 
railage, interest, port dues, etc., plus brokerage. The Smithfield 
salesman's commission is 2 per cent., and the bank or agent 
usually charges 1 per cent, for his work. 

Buying and Selling Forward on C.I.F. Terms. 

With the introduction of the grading process, about 1890, 
purchasing frozen meat forward became possible. Large 
retailers in London and the Provinces who have regular outlets 
for meat of a certain quality and weight at once saw that they 
could partly cover their requirements for many months in 
advance by means of contracting to buy on a cost, freight, and yv\ 
insurance basis. This system has had to be adopted with the 
leading lines of perishable food produce handled by the large 
stores and " multiple shop " companies. It has been applied 
quite scientifically to the frozen meat trade, and represents one 
of the most important and interesting developments. The 
volume of business passing during the last ten or fifteen years 
on this basis has been very considerable, but is apt to fluctuate 
widely, according to the requirements of the " multiple shop " 
companies, and shippers' costs. In the disastrous 1909 season, 
when frozen lamb fell 50 per cent, in price on the rates of the 
previous year, forward buyers dropped money heavily, and it 
must be noted that a proportion (though quite a small one) of 


the o.i.f. purchasers are purely speculators. The c.i.f. system 
was started in New Zealand, and receives iN nioM seientilir 
development there. In Australia, speaking of meat shipments 
as a whole, grading has not been so thoroughly mastered as in 
New Zealand, and without reliable grading for quality and 
weight the forward trade is not seen at its best. Australian 
trade is severely handicapped in this respect, and lower prices 
ai< paid to cover faulty grading. A larger percentage of 
Australian than of New Zealand meat is now sold on c.i.f. 
terms. Whilst it is true that Australian grading of frozen 
meat, as a whole, is not as reliable as is desirable, nearly 
every one in the trade will accept the brands of some of the 
Commonwealth shippers as meritorious examples of the grading 

How the C.I.F. Trade is Worked. 

The modus operandi in the c.i.f. business is as follows. The 
representatives in London (termed in the trade " agents ") 
of the freezing companies, having certain lines of mutton and 
lamb of specified weights on their books, go round to their 
c.i.f. buyers on Smithfield and telephone to their country 
clients in the endeavour to fix up contracts ; the cable is 
freely used in the business. When a sale is made, a formal 
contract passes between seller and buyer ; there are 
several different forms current. The contract fixes the 
time for shipment, either by the month or the steamer being 
specified. On the arrival of the carrying vessel, the buyer 
pays net cash against documents (bill of lading and insurance 
policy), and takes possession of the meat, provided that the 
documents are in order, as to brand, port of shipment, date of 
bill of lading, terms of insurance, range of weights, etc. If the 
bill of lading bears date the first day of the month following, 
ur the last day of the month preceding, the specified month, 
there is a breach of contract. Forward sales have been made 
for as long as six months ahead, but a more common plan is 
to sell month by month. Under this system, the shipper has 
to stand the cost of freight, insurance, and exchange, and the 


buyer in England bears all costs of landing, storing, and market 
tolls, also loss of weight up to an agreed percentage. 

Ex ship sales are practically a department of the " forward " 
system of doing business ; the term may be applied to contracts 
made after the carrying vessel has sailed, but is principally 
used for sales made after the ship has arrived at London. The 
agent, having documents in his hands representing consign- 
ments sent to his care, may make a contract when he takes 
delivery from the vessel. 

Allowances Off Actual Weights. 

An interesting question which may be referred to at this 
point is that of allowances off actual weights made in the 
frozen meat trade. The c.i.f . or ex ship buyer pays on colonial 
bill of lading weights, which represent a deduction of from 5 
to 6 per cent, off the " hot " or " green " weight. Occa- 
sionally meat is weighed " cold," while some of the Argentine 
companies weigh the carcasses in a frozen state, in lots of 
20, in order to arrive at the bill of lading weight. Sellers 
guarantee that the loss on weight when the carcasses are 
weighed in store at the time of delivery shall not exceed an 
agreed percentage, usually 2 per cent., from the bill of lading 

At Smithfield when selling off the hooks the weights are 
taken as a rule without the wrappers, and buyers claim 
allowances from these weights to cover the loss in cutting up 
and the turn of the scale. These allowances vary slightly in 
accordance with the terms of sale. Until recently abatements 
had been accorded only in the London trade, but they 
have now been introduced at Liverpool and elsewhere, as far 
as Australasian meat is concerned. The allowances in question 
from the gross weight are 2 Ibs. on each New Zealand sheep, 
8 Ibs. on every five Australian and South American sheep, 
1 Ib. on each lamb, and 2 to 3 Ibs. on each quarter of beef, 
according to the nature of the wrapper. The allowance on 
Australian beef was reduced from 2 Ibs. to 1 Ib. per quarter by 
concerted action of the agents at a time when supplies were in 


or two hands, and that reduction waa accepted for many 
years. Latterly the old scale has been reverted to owing to 
the keen competition amongst sellers. This London " bate " 
formed the ground for strife between the North American 
" Beef Trust " houses and Smithfield a long time ago. When 
these firms first opened their business in Great Britain, they 
allowed the usual " bate " of 1 Ib. off their chilled beef quarters, 
but when they got firmly settled down, and were sufficiently 
strong to dictate to their customers, they withdrew this allow- 
ance. The battle was sharp, but as the American refrigerated 
beef had become by that time absolutely necessary to the 
Smithfield salesman, the position of the Americans was im- 
pregnable. Their victory, however, left a bitter feeling, traces 
of which are observable to this day. The origin of the market 
allowances on mutton is obscure. Some people trace it to the 
time when Scotch mutton was sent to Smithfield with the 
kidneys left in the carcasses ; as kidneys had no value, appa- 
rently, the salesmen removed them or allowed the buyer 1 Ib. 
off the consignors' weight. But frozen sheep, as a rule, contain 
no kidneys ! The allowance is made partly to cover the 
butcher's loss by wastage in cutting the meat into small 
joints. As far back as one can discover from research, the 
Smithfield custom was to allow 1 Ib. draft on every quarter 
of beef and 3 Ibs. per side, besides tare. 

The Great Grading Question. 

As grading of the carcass is the foundation of the c.i.f . trade, 
some remarks on the system may be made. The earliest refer- 
ences appear in the year 1890. At that time grading and 
classification on more exact lines were suggested to facilitate 
mercantile handling of New Zealand mutton and lamb. 
" Forward " sales on c.f . and i. basis had increased, and this 
system of carrying on the trade necessitated the employment 
of more precise standards of quality and weight. In the 
nineties the " multiple shop " principle of trading began to 
be developed in the large cities of England, and the proprietors 
of these businesses found it as convenient to contract for 


forward delivery of their frozen meat in the case of meat 
retailing concerns as the New Zealand farmers found it 
convenient to secure a market on the spot by selling outright 
to the freezing companies. As the multiple shop companies 
grew, the necessity to cover requirements some months 
ahead and to guard against sudden variations in values 
became more pressing, with the result that the c.i.f. system 
became incorporated as a fundamental part of the New Zealand 
frozen meat trade. It has had many critics, and had it 
remained as it began only a speculative affair (on the part 
of buyers) the "forward" trade, and possibly the trade as 
a whole, would not have assumed the volume and regularity 
it now possesses. As the introduction of grading is one of the 
great historic events of the frozen meat trade, the following 
extract from a market review of 1890 is of interest : 

" In view of the vast extent of the trade and its established 
character, some serious efforts should be made to grade and 
classify the exports from New Zealand in a more thorough 
manner than has hitherto been done." 

It was found by importers that the brand was not such a 
guarantee of uniformity and quality as forward buyers required. 
As a record, there may be inserted here the grades in force at 
the New Zealand Refrigerating Co.'s works at Dunedin in 
August, 1890 : 

A. Sheep 55 to 70 Ibs. . 

B. 50 to 54 . . .1 Crossbred wethers 

C. each weighing from 71 Ibs. upwards v and 

D. ranging from 40 to 50 Ibs. . . maiden ewes. 
MER. Merinos 45 Ibs. and upwards 

This company was the first concern to sell c.i.f. and the first 
to grade for weight. It always failed to grade satisfactorily 
for quality. 

At the beginning of the trade the only thing necessary in 
this connection was that the meat should be graded to quality, 
the demand in the first instance being largely for heavy 
weights in mutton. As the trade developed it was found that 
the requirements of Smithfield were turning to lighter weight 

nil. s' I '(UK KAISERS* MARKET 107 

sheep ; buyers paid a higher price for light mutton, say, 
under 64 Ibs., than for the heavy carcasses which had been 
oniiimrily shipped. The tendency for the favourite weight of 
sheep to grow steadily less and less is largely due to the 
insistent demand of the lower classes for variety on their table. 
The small joint sells first because the wife of the English artisan 
and labourer is not skilled in making tasty dishes out of cold 
meat. In 1887 the most favoured weight was 64 Ibs., to-day 
it is from 48 to 52 Ibs. The first grading suggestions from 
London favoured the somewhat arbitrary system of classifying 
the mutton carcasses into 5-lb. grades. After consideration 
it was found more commercially convenient to adopt the stone 
grade of 8 Ibs. ; this brought the New Zealand mutton grading 
into correspondence with the weight measure regulating 
sales of live and dead meat in the London trade. The grades 
on this basis of the Christchurch Meat Co. practically, also, 
of the Canterbury Frozen Meat Co. are as follow. The New 
Zealand (North Island), Australian, and South American systems 
are different. But as these Canterbury grades have much 
currency at Smithfield, it is convenient to give them. 

Sheep . Under 48 Ibs. . . Weight brand 1 

. 48 to 56 Ibs. . 7 

. 56 to 64 Ibs. . ,,3 

. 64 to 72 Ibs. . . ,,9 

. Over 72 Ibs. . ,,5 

Lambs . Under 36 Ibs. . ,,2 

. 36 to 42 Ibs. . ,,8 

. 42 to 50 Ibs. . . ,,4 

Tegs . Over 50 Ibs. . T 

These weight grades are mainly for the South Island of 
New Zealand ; the North Island favours to some degree this 
gradation : under 50 Ibs., 5055, 55 60, 6065, 65 70, and 
over 70. The Wellington Meat Export Co.'s grades for 
mutton run : under 55 Ibs., 55 65, and 65 70. Other 
exporters adopt slight variations on these classifications. It 
would certainly be convenient if one standard could be 
adopted for the whole of the freezing works of the Dominion. 


It may be stated that the 8-lb. butcher's stone of the London 
trade is not accepted at Liverpool or any other large centres of 
the United Kingdom, where meat transactions go by the pound. 

The sheep and lamb carcasses are first graded for quality, 
and then for weight. Beef is also weight-graded, but on 
broader lines, the favourite range of weights being from 160 to 
220 Ibs. per quarter : under 160 Ibs., 160180, 180200, 200 
220, and over 220. 

Probably the first c.i.f. transaction on record, the authors 
learn on inquiry, was a sale in 1888 of 2,000 Dunedin sheep 
to Messrs. W. and R. Fletcher, Ltd., by Messrs. A. S. Paterson 
and Co., of Dunedin, through their London agents, Messrs. W. 
Weddel and Co. 

Argentine Grading 1 . With regard to the grading of Argen- 
tine frozen meat, each company grades its own meat in its 
own way there is no general classification, as there is with 
Australasian mutton and lamb. The shipments of mutton and 
lamb from Argentina mainly represent first quality ; secondary, 
or relatively inferior, meat is shipped separately under certain 
marks, but the classifications used in the Australian trade 
" g.a.q." " f.a.q.," etc. are not recognized in the Argentine 
trade. The weight grades of the Compania Sansinena de 
Games Congeladas for mutton are : 40 to 46 Ibs., 47 to 56, 
57 to 64, 65 to 72, and over 72. The River Plate Fresh Meat 
Company's classifications are as follows. Mutton ; 40 to 48 Ibs., 
49 to 54, 55 to 60, 61 to 68, 69 to 75. Lamb ; under 30 Ibs., 
31 to 36, 37 to 40, 41 to 44, 45 to 50. Beef is graded as 
systematically as mutton, but both chilled and frozen are 
graded more for quality than for weight. The two Patagonian 
companies grade for weight and quality, and grading is also 
practised at the Uruguayan and Venezuelan works. 

Rates and Freights. 

In one way or another the grower cashes his meat partially 
or, in cases of outright sales, entirely at the time of shipment. 
His banker or agent at the port of shipment makes no difficulty 
under ordinary circumstances about advancing 75 per cent, of 

Till. >TM KK \|>| |{> U UIKI i 


the then market value of the meat. Companies handling a 
large quantity, of course, make special arrangements with their 
bankers. Farmers shipping through freezing companies are 
sometimes charged a " consolidated rate," covering everything 
from works to sale at the Central Markets, London. This 
inclusive rate may be roughly stated as l^ \\d. per Ib. on a 
parcel of mutton or lamb shipped from New Zealand to London. 
As the companies do so much buying now, the " consolidated 
rate " may be considered old-fashioned. The economy now 
existing in the trade is noted in comparing these figures with 
those of, say, 1893-1894, when the movement for reducing 
charges in Australia was initiated. The New Zealand con- 
solidated rate then in force was rsod. per Ib., and that on beef 
shipped from Queensland was 2-49(2. The charge to-day on 
Queensland mutton is Urf., when squatters ship on their own 
account. Going back to 1885, the shipper in New Zealand 
of a 65-lb. sheep was mulcted, on the above basis, to the extent 
of 3<2. per Ib. (in 1883, 4d.) : colonial charges \d. t transport 2Jd., 
and London expenses fd. Selling his meat at 5d. per Ib., 
he netted about 8s. on his sheep. By 1888 the total 
charges had dropped to 2'6ld. per Ib. Now they are l$d. 
per Ib. 

The freight on frozen meat from New Zealand has been fixed 
from 1905 on the following scale : 





I.'V- "f 


From December to May, inclusive 
From June to November, inclusive 

Per Ib. 

Per Ib. 


Per Ib. 

Per Ib. 

Per Ib. 

New Zealand Brands. 

On p. 110 appear the leading brands used by the New 
Zealand meat works. Many of these are at the same time 
quality grade marks, such as " Eclipse," " Sun," etc. 

farmers in New Zealand have been in clover for many 
yean past as regards the realization of their meat. Most of 



Name of Freezing Works. 



Auckland Sheep Farmers' Co. 

Same in full and " Glas." 

Gisborne . 

Gisborne Sheep Farmers' Co. 

Name in full. 


Napier . 

Nelson Brothers 


North British and Hawke's Bay Freez- 

1 N. B. & H. B. F. Co." 

ing Co. 

T. Borthwick and Sons 

"Paki Paki,' 1 "Hastings." 


Wellington Meat Export Co. 


and name in full. 

Longburn Meat Freezing Co. 

" Longburn, N.Z.," and 


Gear Meat Preserving and Freezing 

" G. C." 

Co. of New Zealand. 


Wellington Farmers' Meat Co. . 

"W. F. M.," "Taratabi," 

and " Masterton." 


Patea Freezing Works .... 

" Patea Freezing Works." 


Wanganui Meat Freezing Co. 

" Wanganui " (red and 

black), Thistle. 

Waitara . 

T. Borthwick and Sons 

" Waitara, N.Z.," "Mount 



Nelson Freezing Co 

" N. F. C.," " Stoke," One 

Anchor, and Two 


Picton . 

Christchurch Meat Co. 

"C. M. C.," "Wairau," 

Crown, and Three 


Belfast . 

Canterbury Frozen Meat and Dairy \ 


Produce Export Co. 

1 " C. F. M. Co.," Dia- 

Fairfield . 

n i 

mond, and Star. 

Pareoroa . . 

'! )) )) ) 



Christchurch Meat Company J 

Smithfield (or 

> ii 

i Eclipse," " C. M. C.," 


y. . 

j Sun, One Crown, Three 

Oamaru . 

t M )l I 

I Crowns. 


" !> 1' J 

Hornby . 

"C. M. C."and"C.F.M. 

Co." 777 (the brands 

denote the various 

Canterbury works 

where the stock were 


Mat aura . 

Southland Frozen Meat Co. ( 

f"S. F. M. C.," "M.," 

Wallace Town 

11 11 

( " Z.," and Crosskeys. 

Ocean Beach . 

Birt and Co 

" Princeps," "0. B." VJOH 


Tokomaru Farmers' Freezing Co. 

" Tokomaru," " Waima," 

and "Tawhiti." 

them sell their live stock on the farm, or at so much per Ib. 
at the works. Their market, at high prices, frequently too 
high (compared with London), has been assured. The disas- 
trous 1909 season would probably have had the effect of 


lowering the value of sheep and lambs in New Zealand for 
freezing had not the following year been one of high prices 
on the English market. Some of the New Zealand freezing 
companies operate on their own account, while others are 
" farmers' companies," freezing only. The Canterbury 
Fro/en Meat Co., formed in 1SS1, is an example of the latter 
system. Some companies combine the two methods. 

Australian Grades. 

Much of the Australian mutton and lamb and it must be 
stated that grading in Australia is slowly improving is sold 
on two quality standards : " f.a.q." (fair average quality), 
and " g.a.q." (good average quality). Sydney meat mostly 
comes under the former, and Melbourne under the latter. 
" F.a.q." allows but little recourse on account of quality, 
and buyers want a considerable concession in price for that 
reason. In the cases of well-known accepted brands, 
with a reputation, the meat is sold on f.a.q. or g.a.q. of 
the brand, and the trouble arising from the interpretation of 
" g.a.q." is lessened. The difficulty in the Australian trade 
has been the uncertainty as to a standard of quality. In the 
New Zealand trade there is a recognized basis of quality. 
Every weight grade carries with it a certain standard, and for 
a delivery against sale a carcass must carry proportionately as 
much weight as a sheep in good condition would carry. With- 
out such a standard, how can allowances be assessed ? In 
the New Zealand business only two grades denoting quality 
are used in the general trade : " Prime Quality " and " Second 
Quality." With the latter, except in extreme cases, there is 
no recourse for the dissatisfied purchaser, who can call for 
surveys in the case of " Prime Quality." With the North 
Island companies' meat there is a grade " good average 
quality," carrying with it recourse. The London c.i.f. buyer 
has to cover himself to the extent of fad. per Ib. in accepting 
" colonial weights " ; that allows for shrinkage in freezing and 
the London " bate." 

Allusion has been made above to the c.i.f. form of contract 


commonly employed in the " forward " trade (New Zealand). 
Although buyers and sellers, assisted by the efforts of the 
Frozen Meat Trade Association, for years hammered away 
at a " uniform contract," the difficulty of harmonizing 
the many divergent views expressed was found insurmount- 
able. It is to be hoped that a form that commends itself to 
the trade will be generally adopted throughout trading 
centres in the United Kingdom. 

To conclude these remarks regarding the " forward " system 
of handling New Zealand and Australian meat, it may be 
stated that, notwithstanding the results of the terrible 1909 
season, there can be no doubt that this method of selling the 
meat, based as it is upon the modern commercial ways of 
working large meat and provision shop businesses, has become 
firmly established and will extend. There are, it is true, 
certain drawbacks to it, but these, no doubt, in time will be 
partly or wholly removed. For instance, there is a consider- 
able difference of opinion, with consequent friction, as to what 
constitutes the Australian grades referred to above, " g.a.q." 
and " f.a.q.," and some weakness in the working of the general 
system is shown in the arbitrations as to quality which are 
frequently called. It is alleged, perhaps without very good 
grounds, that the calls for these arbitrations vary in direct 
ratio to the tone of the market. The c.i.f . trade fluctuates as 
regards the business done, depending upon the views that are 
held regarding the immediate future prospects of the market. 

Discharging the Meat at the London Docks. 

The stockowner, although often he may be less concerned 
than others financially in frozen meat cargoes on their arrival 
at the port of destination, evinces a keen interest in the 
systems under which the shipments are handled on discharge, 
and the following information will, therefore, be of interest 
to him as well as to others concerned in the trade. 

The vessels conveying frozen meat from Australasia to 
London berth at Tilbury, Victoria, and Royal Albert Docks, 
and those from South America in the Victoria, Royal 


To /net- />. 


, and West India Docks. The two Australian mail lines, 
which do not carry a great quantity of meat in each vessel, 
and the White Star steamers, use the Tilbury Docks. The 
steamers usually break bulk within twenty-four hours of 
docking, and as a rule the discharging goes forward during 
working hours without any stoppage till completion. The dis- 
charging is done by dock labourers, who are sometimes the 
employees of the shipowners and sometimes of firms of steve- 
dores discharging under contract. Carcasses of mutton and 
lamb and quarters of beef are commonly discharged in 
slings, but the New Zealand Shipping Co., the Shaw, Savill 
and Albion Co., the Shire Line, and other companies, use 
patent elevators and shoots for the rapid handling of mutton 
and lamb. 

Noakes' " telescopic elevator " was the first appliance of the 
kind. This <vas invented by Captain G. H. Noakes, superin- 
tendent of discharge to the New Zealand Shipping Co. in 
London, and was patented about the year 1900. It consists 
of a telescopic frame carrying two endless chains, and on the 
chains are fitted at equal intervals shelves or projections to 
convey the goods. It is driven off the ordinary ships' winches 
by means of a rope slung round from the winch end. This 
machine is portable and very handy, it being possible to pick it 
up from the quay and place it in the hold ready for work 
in about twenty minutes, and it is capable of discharging 
sheep, cases of butter, crates of bananas, or any packages of 
uniform size, at the rate of over 1,000 per hour. 

Captain Noakes has recently designed an improved form of 
conveyor for the discharge of frozen meat from vessels, which 
consists of a system of mechanical chutes and endless belt- 
carriers driven by small electric motors fitted inside the 
mechanical chute, leading from the ship's deck to the quayside. 
This apparatus, which has lately been installed and set to work 
at the London docks, is illustrated herewith. Although the 
driving is in the upper part of the chute the control is at the 
bottom, and a man by pressing a button can stop it imme- 
diately if necessary. By this system, in conjunction with the 
elevators for raising the meat from the holds, the carcasses 

K.M. 1 


are carried from the hold to the end of the quay for delivery, 
without the aid of meat slings or hand trucks. The mechanical 
chute does away entirely with the system of sliding sheep down 
chutes, as they rest against a projection, and are carried down 
by the electrically-driven appliances. This prevents exposure 
(the carcasses are protected by canvas coverings), bruises and 

The method of discharge at the docks in London depends 
upon the destination of the meat. There are three general 
courses open : warehousing at the dock stores, despatch by 
rail to the country, and barging along the river to the " up- 
town " stores. Taking the Tilbury Docks first, farthest down 
the river, if meat is to go into the dock stores at Victoria Docks 
it is barged up. If intended for the country it is forwarded by 
railway, or if for the up-town, riverside stores, barging is 
resorted to. If the meat is for the dock stores at West Smith- 
field, the railway and also insulated vans are employed. At 
the Victoria and Royal Albert Docks the same procedure is 
followed, except that meat intended for the dock stores at 
these two docks is transferred there direct, either by railway 
or hand truck, according to the distance from the ship's berth, 
and that intended for the dock stores at West Smithfield is 
forwarded in insulated vans. The handling of meat at the West 
India Dock is practically the same, meat for the dock stores 
at Victoria Dock being conveyed thither by insulated vans. 
The railing, vanning, and trucking involve the landing of the 
meat on the quay alongside which the vessel lies, and meat for 
barges is usually delivered from the other, or water, side of 
the vessel, alongside which the barges lie. The railway wagons 
run alongside the quay, and the dock stores have connection 
with the Great Eastern, Midland, London and North Western, 
and Great Northern lines. Meat by steamers in the Tilbury 
Dock intended for forwarding by railway to London is dis- 
patched at frequent intervals, and trucks for the country 
(insulated and iced in the summer), having received the full 
consignments, or such portions as are available, are sent 
away to their destinations. Transit is fairly rapid ; a line of 


meat loaded direct from the vessel on to the railway can be 
delivered at Manchester or Cardiff within twelve hours. 

Conveying to Store. 

A very large quantity of the Australian, New Zealand, and 
South American meat is taken in barges to the Lambeth 
stores of the Colonial Consignment and Distributing Co., 
Ltd., the various stores of the Union Cold Storage Co., 
the Blackfriars Cold Storage Co., Ltd., the Thames Cold 
Storage Co., etc. The barges are brought up the river on the 
next tide after the day's work is finished. The great aim 
of the lighterman is to get a full load, so as to ensure the meat 
travelling in the best condition. Considerable delay takes 
place at times in the conveyance of meat by this method, 
particularly in foggy weather, and advocates of storing at the 
docks suggest that the barging system is far from an ideal 
method of conveying frozen meat. But some of the meat that 
goes into the dock stores is moved in this way, as mentioned 
above. The secretary of the Colonial Consignment and 
Distributing Co., Ltd., states that his company's barges are 
" carefully insulated with hair felt, and with full cargoes it is 
an unknown thing for damage to occur in transit." All the 
barges conveying meat from ship's side to up-town stores 
are insulated and are passed by Lloyd's inspectors. Formerly, 
however, this was not the case, and much damage occurred to 
meat in transit in hot weather through the imperfect conditions 
which ruled. All the London public cold stores are on the 
Thames, excepting those of the London Central Markets Cold 
Storage Co., which are under and adjoining Smithfield, the 
West Smithfield cold store of the Port of London Authority, 
and one or two others indicated in the London cold storage 
map, Appendix VI. Meat for the first-named store is barged 
to that company's depot at Poplar and carried thence by 
insulated motor vans. 

Having warehoused his mutton, lamb, or beef at one of the 
London cold stores, the owner arranges further steps in his 
campaign according to his business and the state of the market. 
His one great aim is to clear the meat within four weeks, so aa 



to save the second month's " management rate " charge. The 
object of the merchant is to deliver to the market only such 
quantity as he may expect to dispose of every day, but if meat is 
left over unsold at the close of business at Smithfield it is 
seldom taken back to store, as it will remain in sufficiently 
good condition on the hooks for the next day's business. 
Occasionally, however, meat unsold is taken back to store, 
especially in the case of the cold stores handy to the market. 
In hot weather, naturally, this course is adopted more freely. 
Those tenants who rent storage space under their stalls from 
the London Central Markets Stores, which space communicates 
with the premises above, generally pop their left-over stuff 
down into their cold rooms. 

In putting forward these details concerning an exceedingly 
technical section of this subject, the authors desire to mention 
that the business systems of the various firms of merchants, 
importers, and salesmen, are not all framed on the same lines. 
All that must be expected of this chapter is a more or less 
rough and, it is feared, incomplete outline of the methods 
under which the Australasian and South American producers 
get their stock to the market. 



IN this chapter is given information concerning the general 
principles and methods which govern the official examination 
of frozen and chilled meat in the exporting countries, and 
details are added referring to the practice of British Medical 
Officers of Health in dealing with this meat on its arrival at 
the ports of Great Britain. Reference is also made to the 
totally inadequate measures taken to protect the British 
public from the consumption of diseased meat, bred and 
slaughtered in the United Kingdom. The more one regards 
the meat inspection systems in vogue in different countries, 
so widely differing in principle and detail, the more necessary 
does it appear to work for an international standard of meat 
inspection, respecting which proposal it is still hoped there will 
be a conference in Paris in 1912, or at some early date. 

New Zealand. 

New Zealand has an excellent official system of inspec- 
tion, which is rigidly applied to exported frozen meat. The 
Dominion spends a very considerable sum annually in paying the 
salaries of a staff of specially qualified inspectors, twenty-four 
of whom write M.R.C.V.S. after their names. Official inspection 
in New Zealand is carried on under the General Meat Inspection 
Act of 1900. The inspectors have by this Act full control over 
the sanitary and general conditions of the freezing works of the 
Dominion of New Zealand. The Government of New Zealand 
has, from early days in the industry, applied itself consistently 
to the question of having veterinary examination made of 
meat intended for the export trade. Concerning this, 


Sir Joseph Ward, as Prime Minister, made himself responsible 
for the following statement : 

All meat as exported from New Zealand is absolutely guaranteed by the 
Government to be healthy, wholesome, and thoroughly fit for human food. 


As to Australia, the inspection and supervision of meat for 
export is undertaken by the Federal Government. Prior to 
February 1, 1911, the various States were working on indi- 
vidual lines, and though the regulations in force in the States 
were most thorough, the want of uniformity led to some 
confusion. But at the date mentioned, the Federal Govern- 
ment assumed control of Australian meat inspection, and now 
all meat exported from the Commonwealth is inspected on a 
uniform basis under the Commerce (Trade Descriptions) Act, 
1905, and the Customs Act, 1910, prior to export, and meat 
found to be in every way satisfactory is marked " approved 
for export." Second grade meat is marked as " passed 
for export," while emaciated and diseased meat is, of course, 
refused any permit for export. Here attention may be drawn 
to the fine distinction between "approved" and "passed" 
in the Commonwealth inspection regulations. Whilst New 
Zealand and Argentina, in common with usual practice, 
each have one standard of fitness, Australia has two. A large 
staff of veterinary surgeons is stationed at the abattoirs and 
meat works throughout the Commonwealth, and the regulations 
under which they work are drastic. The examination is ante- 
and post-mortem. The central point of the Commonwealth 
regulations is that the exportation of any meat is prohibited 
unless it has been certified by an inspector under the 
Commerce Act to be fit for export. Under the Commerce Act 
there is prohibition of the export of carcass meat in a 
diseased state, and " disease " includes any defect, inferiority, 
or abnormal condition in the meat which renders it unsightly 
or unfit for human food. 

Australia can afford to go still farther than European 
countries in the raising of her standard. Her proportion of 



THIS MEAT hit been examined by me. and by ante-mortem 
and posl-mortem veterinary Inspection Is found to be tree 
from disease and suitable in every way lor btuoaa cooftuaption. 



i - 


i > | 





Diviion de 



\ 2 









5 "> 










To fac* p. 118. 


stock diseases is wonderfully small, and as boiling down is 
iblo for rejects, the Australian freezing works have in tin- 
case of animals not up to freezing mark a second string to their 
bow which the British farmer and butcher lack. No meat can 
be exported from Australia unless it has passed the veterinary 's 
health testa. 


The measures taken by the Government of Argentina to 
ensure that frozen and chilled meat exported shall be in all 
respects sound, free from disease, and of first class quality, are 
most thorough. Before stock can be moved in the Republic, 
official permission has to be obtained. Attached to every 
frigorifico is a Government inspector who has an office in the 
works. He has to look into all the processes, inspects the stock 
before killing, and the meat before export, and has the right to 
reject anything of inferior quality. The following statement 
l>y the manager of one of the Argentine works shows how 
thorough is the inspection : " Two or more Government 
inspectors are billeted at each works ; they are there all their 
time, scrutinize everything, examine live stock, slaughterings, 
the meat, walking about the whole time, condemning anything 
and everything they are not absolutely satisfied with, and 
nothing leaves the works without the Government inspectors' 
n-rtification." The vessels carrying the frozen meat from 
Argentine ports are under Government supervision as to 
cleanliness, disinfection, and hygiene. Of late, as a comple- 
ment to this careful system of inspection, the Government of 
the Republic have enacted that a brand in aniline dye, which 
has the force of a Government certificate of soundness, shall be 
placed upon all frozen meat exported to Great Britain. The 
Act under which the official supervision is undertaken is the 
Animals Sanitary Law, No. 4155. 

The certificated labels that are attached to meat exported 

from the three countries whose official inspection systems are 

above explained are reproduced herewith. They are very 

il and necessary documents; but, after all, speaking 


of Great Britain's importation of frozen and chilled meat, the 
Local Government Board's inspector is the real tribunal. 

Inspection of Meat Killed in the United Kingdom, 

Several references have been made in this book to the 
inefficient methods of inspecting home-killed meat in the 
United Kingdom. Under regulations officially observed, there 
is a competent veterinary staff employed at British ports 
to see to it that no diseased or unsound meat from overseas 
is landed for consumption. One would think that an 
equally satisfactory examination of stock slaughtered through- 
out the United Kingdom would be made. But what do 
we find ? Dr. Collingridge, Medical Officer of Health for 
the City of London, in his report dated April 25, 1911, made 
the following observation when referring to the Australian 
official inspection clauses : " It is unfortunate that while 
such regulations are made and enforced abroad, there are no 
provisions for the compulsory inspection of meat at the time of 
slaughter in this country." 

A flood of light is thrown upon this subject by Mr. W. G. 
Barnes, Chief Veterinary Inspector and Superintendent of 
Abattoirs, Islington Cattle Market, in his paper read before the 
Royal Sanitary Institute Congress at Belfast on July 28, 1911, 
" Meat Branding and Uniformity of Inspection." In many of 
the rural districts, meat inspection, Mr. Barnes stated, " is a 
theory instead of a practice." The following quotations from 
the paper are startling indeed : 

" The Britisher is daily eating the flesh of diseased animals, 
and is unaware of it. He takes it for granted that the law of 
the country provides for the inspection of all butcher meat 
intended for his food, and consequently he does not deem it 
necessary to make further investigation into the matter, but 
is content to remain in ignorance of the fact that more than 
half of the meat consumed in this country is never seen by an 
inspector, and that in many parts of the country the system of 
meat inspection is scandalous. As illustrative of this, it is 
known that carcass butchers from towns some distance from 

TIM-: ir.\(Ti<>N> or TIM. MEAT INSPECTOR 121 

London con afford to pay from 30 shillings to 2 more per head 
for a doubtful class of cattle, pay carriage to one of these places 
where there is little or no inspection, outside London, and then 
send the carcass to London for sale for human consumption ; 
or, if it is too risky for sale in London, sell it locally. . . . Only 
a short time ago, in conversation with a butcher who has a 
large trade in a town not far from London, I was informed that 
no inspector ever visited his premises for the purpose of 
examining the meat. It was only visited three or at most four 
times a year by the inspector of nuisances, and that was with 
regard to its sanitary condition. ... A pure meat supply can 
only be secured by a universal compulsory abattoir system and 
general inspection of all animals intended for human food, also 
branding and marking of all meat. This system would afford 
the highest degree of protection to the consumer and would 
probably be the indirect means of causing a great lessening in 

Do not such facts as these concerning the supplies of home- 
killed meat to British consumers throw into strong relief the 
scientific veterinary inspection of chilled and frozen meat in 
Australasia and South America, as detailed in the early part 
of this chapter, and can there be a more forcible point to urge 
in support of the case for frozen meat ? 

An International Standard of Inspection. 

Meat is not an interchangeable article of commerce, but is 
subject to strict rules of inspection in most countries before it 
can obtain entry. These conditions formed no hardship so long 
as trade was carried on only in fresh meat from the adjacent 
countries. The immense development of the refrigerated 
meat trade and its conditions of handling render these 
conditions antiquated and unworkable. There are no insur- 
mountable difficulties to be overcome in placing refrigerated 
meat in the same category as the articles of commerce 
which may be consigned to any country. In exporting coun- 
tries where refrigeration of meat is properly carried on, it is 


killed under Government veterinary inspection. Inspection 
to be thorough and complete has to be ante- and post-mortem, 
and can only be done at the time of slaughter. Refrigerated 
meat has to be stripped of all internal organs before freezing 
and shipping. It therefore follows that the inspection, how- 
ever rigid, can only be guaranteed by an assurance and cer- 
tificate that the animals were healthy and the meat wholesome. 
A certificate and guarantee to be valid must be given by a 
Government authority, and must represent conditions well and 
clearly understood. A complete harmony exists among all 
the training institutions for veterinary science of all countries 
as to principle and methods. Veterinary inspection is on a 
strictly scientific basis, and there are an international standard 
and regulations common to all lands where the inspection 
of meat is considered of vital importance. 

To free refrigerated meat from present trade disabilities in 
European States, all that is required is that the standard 
which already exists should be recognized as international. 
Further, that an agreement be arrived at by the various coun- 
tries that, provided an exporting country will guarantee that 
all the conditions of inspection are being complied with, the 
veterinary certificate of such country shall be recognized as 
complete. Refrigerated meat would then be available for all 
countries, and would only be subject to local inspection as to 
refrigerated condition and soundness. It would then take its 
place along with other articles of commerce fresh markets 
would be opened up, and its price would be regulated by the 
world-wide demand. 

Public Health Regulations. 

A development which had bearing on some minor section 
of the frozen meat trade, and made necessary certifi- 
cates of examination from the Governments of exporting 
countries, was the passing in England of the Public Health 
(Regulations as to Food) Act, on August 28, 1907. On 
September 12, 1908, the Local Government Board issued two 
sets of Regulations : 


(1) "The Public Health (First Series Unsound Food) Regu- 
>ns, 1908," and 

(2) "The Public Health (Foreign Meat) Regulations, 

The first became operative on October 1, 1908, and the second 
on January 1, 1909. The Regulations are now in full working 
order, and have strengthened the hands of the sanitary 
authorities at the various ports. These Regulations have had 
v considerable influence upon the department of the frozen 
meat trade discussed in Appendix II., for they were put 
in force mainly to check irregularities in American meat 
oddments and to enable the sanitary authorities in Great 
Britain to have an effective weapon wherewith to fight 
tuberculosis in pig carcasses and boxed pork. 

Before the issue of the Regulations inspection of meat 
imported into Great Britain had been casual and unmethodical. 
The port sanitary authorities and the medical officers of health, 
as well as the Board of Trade expert officers, found difficulty in 
dealing with certain classes of imported frozen meat, and it was 
considered desirable to give the inspectors further powers. For 
instance, boneless beef, arriving in boxes with the pieces of 
meat frozen into a solid mass, was impossible of identification 
and examination by the inspectors as to the separate pieces. 
This boned beef trade from New Zealand had grown to con- 
M<!I -ruble proportions ; it was a profitable means of disposing 
of old cows, and the form in which the meat arrived and its 
cheapness allowed it to be used for mincing and other purposes. 
As the conditions under which this boneless beef was prepared 
and shipped were inconsistent with the requirements of British 
inspectors, acting under the Public Health Regulations of 
1907, viz., that frozen meat must arrive in separate pieces, the 
trade was suspended for several years. But of late the 
inspectors have modified the severity of their views, and boned 
beef, frozen in separate pieces, is imported to a small extent, 
mainly at the port of Glasgow. It is held in many quarters 
that had the export of boneless beef been stopped altogether it 
\\ < >uld not have been a matter for much regret, for, even allowing 
that this low-grade meat was a valuable adjunct to New 


Zealand's carcass and quarter trade, it adds no lustre to the 
Dominion's export of produce. 

The Regulations referred to, in full working order, no doubt, 
render more precise and (in some instances) equitable the 
methods of the sanitary authorities with regard to any meat 
seized for unsoundness. Merchants and importers of frozen 
meats, at the time when the Regulations were being framed, 
took the opportunity to press upon the Local Government 
Board their view that identical instructions should be sent to 
inspectors throughout the country, regarding the general 
question of inspection of imported meats, and that the owners of 
meat seized by the inspectors should be supplied with data, 
such as the name of the vessel, the brand, etc. But this 
reasonable suggestion has not been adopted. The officials 
at different ports in England have varying methods of seizing 
meat and of treating meat so seized ; it is a confusing and 
unfair state of things to traders that different " standards " 
and different practices should exist in the ports and wholesale 
markets of Great Britain as regards meat inspection. 

The Regulations make three classifications, the first of 
which applies to " scrap " meat, and the other two to 
pigs and parts of pigs. An important reference is to the 
" official certificate " which the Regulations required. This is 
defined as a certificate, label, mark, stamp, or other voucher, 
declaring that the cattle or pig from which the meat is derived 
has been certified by a competent authority in the place of 
origin to be free from disease at the time of slaughter, and that 
the meat has been certified by the like authority to have been 
dressed or prepared, and packed, with the needful observance 
of all requirements for the prevention of danger arising to public 
health from the meat as an article of food. On the authors' 
application in September, 1911, for information about these 
certificates, which are obviously required in the interests of 
shippers from various countries, Dr. G. S. Buchanan, Medical 
Inspector to the Local Government Board, supplied copies of 
accepted official certificates, as follow : Denmark, the Nether- 
lands, Canada, New Zealand, Belgium, and the Commonwealth 
of Australia ; Dr. Buchanan wrote that the list of accepted 


certificates did not include any from the United States or 
South America. These Regulations have been dealt with 
above very fully, because they appear to be the only example 
of official enactment in Great Britain concerning meat inspec- 
tion drafted on thoroughly scientific and uniform lines of 



THE importance of the part that the shipowner plays in the 
frozen meat trade of to-day is universally recognized, and most 
of the pages of this book bear evidence of the great stake he 
has in the industry. It was the shipowner who was always 
ready in the pioneering and experimental days of the eighties 
to risk his capital in meeting shippers' and merchants' wishes, 
and to-day he is constantly called upon to extend the facilities 
he offers for refrigerated overseas traffic. The freezing works 
and the "refrigerated fleet" are the two great agencies engaged 
in the preparation and transportation of the farmers' meat 
to the markets of the Old World, and skill, capital, and 
organizing power, both in freezing and transport, have all 
along been required to ensure that the Australasian and South 
American sheep, driven to the freezing works and landed on 
the London Docks as frozen meat, have suffered the minimum 
of depreciation in quality and condition. 

Given the necessary information from behind the scenes, 
what a book could be written on the beginnings and develop- 
ment of the refrigerated produce trade, from the shipowners' 
point of view ! If the walls of board rooms had ears, and 
shipping clubs' discussions were recorded for the benefit of the 
trade historian, it would be possible to write a useful and 
entertaining narrative. The personalities of the owners and 
managers of the great shipping lines that 

Give the Pole the Produce of the Sun, 
And knit th' unsocial climates into one, 

are in many cases distinctly[striking ; many of us remember the 
graphic, good-natured articles that Mr. Hope Robinson used 
to write on them in the pages of Fairplay. What a tale could 
be told, for instance, of the men who built up the " Austral- 






Shipping Conference " and their work ; will that chapter 
ever be given to the world from the precincts of Leadenhall 
Street ? The man at the head of a shipping line must, to be 
successful, have great business gifts as well as force of character. 
He must be resourceful to the last degree, incredibly audacious, 
when necessary, in making contracts and adjusting business 
with clients ; all the commercial facts from pole to pole he 
masters concerning production and transport of merchandize, 
and at a pinch, as the frozen meat trade shows, turns himself 
into a merchant filling the holds of his own steamers. The 
part the British shipowners of refrigerated and other vessels 
played in the South African War stands out brilliantly 
amongst many failures in other directions. Incidentally, they 
made heaps of money ! 

" What Frozen Meat has done for the Shipowner " might 
well form a sequel to " The Shipowners' Burden." The 1910 
figures showed 214 vessels engaged in the conveyance of the 
South American and Australasian frozen meat ; the carrying 
capacity of these vessels was 14,225,500 carcasses of sheep. 
Of these steamers 43 had a carrying capacity exceeding 
100,000 carcasses each. As the total import of frozen meat 
for 1910 was the equivalent of 18,056,844 carcasses, it seems 
that, assuming that each ship of the " refrigerated fleet " came 
home fully loaded, the portion of frozen meat allotted to each 
vessel to carry during the year was the equivalent of about 
84,380 carcasses. During 1911 the "refrigerated fleet" was 
much augmented, and the insulated space of the vessels on 
the Australasian and South American lines was at the end 
of that year equal to 44,000,000 cubic feet (see Appendix VIII.), 
say, 16,000,000 carcasses. 

Then there is the great trade in butter, cheese, fruit, and 
rabbits from Australia and New Zealand to consider. What 
a welcome addition to the freight refrigerated produce must 
have been, and what potent influence it must have had on 
the expansion of the great fleets, as well as upon the construc- 
tion of the vessels ! In 1888 there were 57 vessels in the trade 
with a total carrying capacity of 955,000 carcasses ; by 1891 
there were 87; in 1894, 100; in 1895, 108; and in 1898, 131. 


The carrying capacities in those years were, respectively, 
2,267,000, 3,367,000, 3,816,000, and 5,460,800 carcasses. 

It would have been interesting to discover that there were 
one or two master minds applying themselves with a prophet's 
foresight to the task of adapting their ships to the new trade ; 
men who, with the genius of perspicacity, fully grasped the 
situation with all its possibilities. One cannot discover any 
such figures, and the progress of the refrigerated carrying 
trade seems to have been a natural evolution. Improvements 
in refrigerating machinery, insulating materials, and appliances 
or stowage and handling, have come along as the need suggested. 

The shipowners' attitude in the early eighties was this : 
They said " we are the servants of the public, and if there is 
meat to carry we must carry it." In this way they have 
adapted themselves to the different departments of the 
refrigerated business, science revealing the particular condi- 
tions requisite for the safe carriage of each separate kind of 
refrigerated produce. A great deal of capital is invested in 
the " refrigerated fleet " ; roughly, it takes 20,000 merely to 
fit a New Zealand liner with refrigerating machinery and 
insulate her holds, and to this has to be added the cost of 
upkeep, and the loss from the permanent reduction in dead 
weight and cubic carrying capacities. Regarding the weight of 
cargo carried, a vessel which, without refrigerating machinery, 
could carry, say, 4,000 tons, could with it only take 3,000 tons 
of ordinary cargo. 

The Australian Lines. 

The Australian shipping lines were not backward in taking 
up refrigerated produce, and the companies running regular 
services perceived quite early the possibilities of the new trade 
and what it meant to the shipowner. The prospectus of the 
Orient Steam Navigation Company, Limited, dated 21 May, 
1880, contained this paragraph : " The export of fresh frozen 
meat is likely to yield an important addition to the company's 
earnings. A number of applications for space have already 
been received, and the necessary refrigeration machines are 
about to be fitted in the steamers." The first steamers fitted 

Tin: >iim>\YM.u>' itniDEN 

wen the s.s. Cuzco, Orient, and Garonne, in 1881. On p. 34 
mrnMn is made of tho pioneering part taken by the Orient 
line vessels in fitting up their steamers for the carriage of 
frozen moat, and note should be taken of the fact that this 
company, in in-tailing Haslum machinery on its ships in 1880, 
was tho first shipping lino in the world to go into tho 
refrigerated meat trade on a regular basis. The Peninsular 
and Oriental Company entered the trade in 1887, and their 
first vessel to carry meat was the s.s. Victoria. The s.s. Hornby 
Orange was Messrs. Moulder's first refrigerated vessel to enter, 
in 1890, the Australian trade. The Aberdeen Lone took up 
frozen meat freight in 1892, and the s.s. Australasian was the 
lir-t steamer to be fitted. The first Federal Line steamer 
to carry meat was the s.s. Maori King in 1893. The White 
Star vessels entered the Australian trade in 1899, the s.s. Medic 
being the first steamer to bring meat for the company from 
Australian ports. 

The late Mr. William Haviside Tyser, the founder of the 
Tyser Line, entered the refrigerated shipping trade in 1886 
1887 (see p. 67). The first ship which he fitted up and loaded 
was the Balmoral Castle, next coming the Ashleigh Brook, and 
- following. The Balmoral Castle, by the way, was the first 
vessel to sail to Australia in ballast, a practice subsequently 
extensively followed. 

The New Zealand Services. 

In 1881 the Government of New Zealand offered a subsidy 
JO.OOO a year for the establishment of a service of refrige- 
rated fifty-day boats, but the inducement was too slight to 
attract shipowners. The honour of opening the frozen meat 
trade, whicji has been of such enormous value to the Dominion, 
belongs to the Shaw, Savill and Albion Co. Full particulars 
appear at pp. 40 to 44 of the enterprise of the New Zealand 
and Australian Land Co., and the successful co-operation of tho 
shipping company as regards tho voyage of the sailer Dunedin. 
Xew Zealand Shipping Co. (which had been founded by 
New Zealand merchants at Christchurch in 1873) despatched 



the second vessel with frozen meat to London, this shipment 
being the company's own venture. In 1882 the company 
fitted the sailing ship Mataura with Haslam's cold air refrige- 
rating machinery at a cost of several thousand pounds. On the 
first voyage outwards quantities of fish, poultry, and game were 
carried from London. These goods were delivered in New 
Zealand in excellent order and a return cargo of frozen beef 
and mutton, at a freight of 2%d. per lb., was landed in London 
in perfect condition. This cargo had to be frozen on board. 
Captain Greenstreet, now the skipper of the s.s. Remuera, was in 
charge. The first steamer fitted up for refrigerated cargoes 
by the New Zealand Shipping Co. was the Fenstanton, belonging 
to Watts, Milburn and Co. ; it was a tramp steamer taken 
up on time charter. In January, 1883, the company despatched 
the first steamer of its regular service from London, the British 
King, 3,356 tons, fitted with Haslam's machinery sufficient 
to carry 8,000 carcasses of sheep. The British Queen, a sister 
ship, followed in March, 1883, and the White Star steamers 
Ionic and Doric, vessels of 4,750 tons, were also chartered 
so as to keep up the monthly service until the company could 
put on steamers of their own. A fifth steamer being needed, 
the Cunard liner Catalonia was taken up in 1883 for one 
voyage, and even for that one voyage it was fitted up with 
complete refrigerating machinery. 

In the same year the company inaugurated a direct 
steamer service, building five 15-knot steamers of about 4,500 
tons register each, viz., the Tongariro (August, 1883), Aorangi 
(October, 1883), Ruapehu (November, 1883), Kaikoura (Sep- 
tember, 1884), and Rimutaka (October, 1884), all fitted with 
Haslam's refrigerating machines. Three of the company's 
sailing ships were also fitted with refrigerating machinery for 
the carriage of frozen meat, etc. After the New Zealand 
Shipping Co. had received delivery of the above-named five 
steamers, the Shaw, Savill and Albion Co. continued to employ 
the Ionic and Doric in the trade, and also chartered the Coptic, 
besides building the Arawa and Tainui, so that the two lines, 
each with five mail and passenger steamers, commenced a 
regular fortnightly steam service between London and New 



Zealand, which has been maintained without a break ever 
since. At the present time all the foregoing steamers of the 
New Zealand Shipping Co. have been replaced by new vessels, 
bearing the same names but of about double the size. 

Whilst the Shaw, Savill Co.'s own steam fleet was in prepara- 
tion in 1883 1884, the chartered steamers Triumph, Bombay, 
Victory and Florida were fitted. But these vessels were soon 
replaced by the mail steamers Arawa, Tainui, Coptic, Ionic 
and Doric, and these were supplemented in 1889 1890 by the 
cargo vessels the Mamari, Maori, Matatua, Rangatira and 
Pakeha. The original Arawa, Tainui, Mamari, Matatua, 
Rangatira and Pakeha have gone, but bigger successors, of the 
same names, do similar work to-day. The old Arawa was 
fitted for 25,000 carcasses, the modern Waimana, built in 1911, 
is insulated for 100,000. 

The s.s. Elderslie, launched in 1884, was the first of a 
fine fleet of steamers owned by the Shire Line and Messrs. 
Turnbull, Martin and Co. To Mr. John Reid, of Elderslie, near 
Oamaru, the credit of this enterprise must be accorded, and he 
certainly must take rank as a pioneer of the trade. He persuaded 
Messrs. Turnbull, Martin and Co. to build this and other 
steamers, and was always in the front supplying sheep freely 
from his fine estate. The other Shire liners followed quickly, 
and competed with the steamers of the New Zealand Shipping 
Co. and Shaw, Savill and Albion Co. Freight on the meat for the 
Elderslie was reduced to 2Jrf., by the Fifeshire to 2d., and by 
the next Shire Line steamer to Ifrf. Competition and the 
increased tonnage available caused further reductions in the 
rates steadily onwards. 

Sailing: Ships as Meat Carriers. It is noteworthy that the 
early work done by the fleet of sailers in carrying frozen meat 
was excellent, and these craft proved quite suited to the trade 
in the early days. Certainly the 90 to 110 days' passage, 
instead of the mail steamers' 40, from New Zealand, was 
against thorn, but, then, the c.i.f. business and " catching the 
market " were rudimentary points in the eighties. The 
sailers did their refrigerating remarkably well, and the early 
fleet was considerable. Messrs. Shaw, Savill and Co. (which 



combined with the Albion Co., to form the Shaw, Savill and 
Albion Co., incorporated in 1 882) had the Dunedin, Lady Jocelyn, 
Lyttelton, Invercargill, Oamaru, Northumberland, Wellington, 
Tirnaru, Marlhorough, and Hinemoa. These ships carried 
anything from 10,000 to 15,000 carcasses, and were fitted 
with either Bell-Coleman or Haslam machines freezing on the 
cold air blast system. Meat cargoes were brought home in these 
boats with commendable success, but their being superseded 
by steamers was hi the natural course of evolution which has 
settled the fate of the older class of vessel in modern trade. 
The Shaw, Savill Co. fitted up the sailer Edwin Fox as 
a freezing hulk, and sent her out to New Zealand in 1885. 
Subsequently the vessel was transferred to the Christchurch 
Meat Co., and is still used as a hulk at Picton (see illustration 
p. 60). The Timaru, after her active career as a frozen 
meat carrier was over, was used as a freezing store on the 
South African coast, and was wrecked in 1907. The Marl- 
borough and Dunedin were lost in 1890. Another old sailing 
ship, formerly employed to convey frozen meat from New 
Zealand, is now the property of the Royal Mail Steam Packet 
Co., and is stationed in the River Plate as a hulk, and is 
called the Roihay. Before the company purchased her the 
vessel was called the Duleep Singh, and was sent as a freezing 
hulk to Gibraltar in 1890 by Messrs. Wills and Co. 

The Evolution of the Frozen Meat Carrier. 

The evolution of the frozen meat carrier is a most interest- 
ing point to refer to. From the 10,000 carcasses sailing ship 
" adapted " for the trade, through special sailers, like the Hinemoa 
there is the development to adapted steamers like the British 
Princess, Selembria, the early Shire boats, etc., to the half-and- 
half (refrigerated, and/or general cargo) steamers largely used by 
the New Zealand Shipping Co., and the Shaw, Savill and Albion 
Co., to the very highly specialized steamers that have been 
built recently for the South American frozen and chilled meat 

Early refrigerating installations on board ship were, no doubt 
somewhat crude, and, with engineers untrained in the new 


branch of tlioir profession, the difficulties met with must have 
been many. Captain Whitaon's experiences on the Duncdin, 
recorded in another part of this book, are an instance. But the 
engineers did their work well, as the meat was brought in sound 
condition in the j^rcnt majority of cases. l"p to tin; Ix-umnitin 
of 1884 only nine cargoes had been delivered in " unsatisfactory 
condition." Some of the damage to the meat was done in 
transit between the works and the ship, and there was the 
fault of insufficient freezing in the case of the meat brought to 
London by the Mataura in 1883. The trade circulars of the 
time reported as follows : " Imperfectly prepared for the 
voyage ; about 4,000 carcasses had to be destroyed on arrival." 
By those who remember the large number of cargoes which 
arrived in bad condition in the nineties, the contrast of the 
cleaner record of the shipments made in the previous decade 
may seem remarkable. As a matter of fact, if an exact com- 
parison of percentages of unsound arrivals were made over the 
two periods, it would probably be found that the later term did 
not show a larger percentage of casualties ; the volume of the 
trade was much bigger than in the eighties, consequently 
the failures loomed larger. However, three reasons have been 
assigned for the trouble which became so apparent in the 
nineties. By those well qualified to judge, the cause was said 
to be partly the fitting of the ships, partly the refrigerating 
machinery, and partly perhaps, principally the indifferent 
preparation and handling of the meat just prior to exporta- 
tion. With the old sailers freezing was done on board at the 
port of shipment, but in the case of the steamers the meat 
was frozen ashore, and it is thought that insufficient refrigera- 
tion of the carcasses before their stowage in the steamers' holds 
was often responsible for their bad carriage. The reliable 
working of the old refrigerating machinery installed in the 
ships on the cold air blast system in the earlier days of the 
trade is a bright feature of the industry, and some of the old 
machines continue to do good service right up to the present 
time. For instance, only to mention four Shaw, Savill boats ; 
the Waiwera (capacity 80,000 carcasses), Tokomaru (85,000 
carcasses), Kuinara (75,000 carcasses), and Karamea (75,000 


carcasses), are still carrying meat cargoes efficiently frozen by 
the old Haslam cold air machine. 

Contrasting the early days' difficulties with the smoothness 
which characterizes the conditions of to-day, Mr. J. A. Potter, 
general manager of the Shaw, Savill and Albion Co., sends the 
following remarks : 

" In the absence of freezing works ashore, and the consequent 
initial freezing and preparation of the carcasses on board, great 
delay in loading was caused, and even steamers for a time had 
to perform this work. But soon freezing works ashore 
began to be erected, and gradually all cargoes were prepared 
prior to shipment, and sent in a frozen state to the carrying 
vessel. In the early days of the industry complete or partial 
failure at times took place due to some breakdown of machinery 
imperfect preparation of the carcasses, faulty insulation, etc., 
but with the growth of the trade experience and science brought 
knowledge, and to-day it is marvellous with what certainty such 
a delicate article of commerce can be conveyed in perfect 
condition from one end of the world to the other. Mutton, 
lamb, beef, butter, cheese, and delicate fruits, are shipped at 
the far Antipodes with a practical certainty that they will be 
put on the English market in the same state of preservation as 
they would be if offered for sale at the place of production." 

The evolution of the modern frozen or chilled meat carrier 
has been a gradual process, in which details have one by one 
been revised in accordance with the march of modern invention 
and the discovery of the more up-to-date appliances employed 
in mechanical refrigeration. In the early eighties mail 
steamers were fitted with limited refrigerated accommodation, 
e.g., in 1884 the Arawa and the Tainui, which have been already 
referred to ; and it was then thought that about 15,000 carcasses 
refrigerated capacity was sufficient. Ideas grew, and following 
the equipment of the early mail steamers came the pressing 
into refrigerated service of cargo steamers, later coming the 
boats built especially for cold storage transport, of which the 
latest examples carry huge cargoes considerably in advance of 
100,000 carcasses. 

It will enable the reader to gain some idea of the great 



progress made with the frozen meat carrier since its first 
conception thirty years ago, if he remembers that from 1885 to 
1888 a 4,000-ton dead weight steamer was a big vessel. Ships 
were then constructed to carry the maximum quantity of 
dead weight on tin- minimum net register. Consequently they 
had the minimum amount of cabin capacity within their 
dimensions. When frozen meat became a factor in the steam 
carrying trade, it was found that, as it required 160 cubic feet, 
including refrigerating apparatus and insulation, to carry 
20 cwte. of meat, it was advisable to increase the number of 
decks within the dimensions of the vessel. This was effected 
by putting on a shade deck, which filled up the space between 
the forecastle and the short bridge and the deck, and making it 
a continuous deck, thereby forming, as it were, another storey in 
the vessel, this giving roughly 25 to 33 per cent, more cubic 
capacity than the old style. On top of this shade deck was 
put a small forecastle, and possibly a small bridge, which would 
carry the officers of the steamer, the question of stability being 
provided for by increasing the beam to counteract the extra 
height. To-day the modern steamer is roughly eight to nine 
beams in her length, whereas in the old days she was nine to 
ten, and possibly a little more. 

The Shipowner as Merchant. 

There have been times in which the shipowner in his con- 
nection with the frozen meat trade has turned merchant. 
About twenty years ago, say, 1891, the three regular lines 
carrying meat from New Zealand began to buy, in order to fill 
their ships. They were forced to do so, otherwise their ships 
would have sailed for London with empty holds. Even 
previous to this they had taken an interest in the meat by 
receiving freight on a sliding scale according to the price 
realized. The reason for such action could well be understood, 
and the later development of the same general policy was 
shown by the tendency of shipowners to finance the erec- 
tion of works, recouping themselves by freight contracts 
securing the output. The case against the shipowner actually 

competing with his clients is very strong, and no circum- 
stances but the most unusual and compelling could justify 
such a departure from mercantile ethics. There are other 
instances of shipowners in the Australasian trade acting in 
this dual capacity. One of these relates to the shipments 
of frozen beef from Queensland to Vladivostock, in regard to 
which, perhaps, one may say that as this was a new departure, 
as well as speculative, and probably temporary in character, 
the element of competition with the merchant did not arise, 
at least, in a marked degree. 

In 1894, owing to exceptionally heavy imports of meat 
from Australia, the London cold stores became choked with 
meat, and the vessels as they arrived in the Thames were 
unable to discharge their cargo. This state of affairs marked 
one of the most serious crises the frozen meat trade has passed 
through. The same position was, as a matter of fact, within 
an ace of occurring in 1909, but by that time the capacity of the 
stores had greatly increased. On the earlier occasion referred 
to above, vessels had to be used as stores, and lay for weeks on 
demurrage. This might suit the shipowner in some instances, 
but not those having to work a regular service on time 
tables. Such owners could not get their ships discharged, 
and their arrangements were completely upset, while, to make 
matters still more awkward for them, some clients who had 
sold their meat insisted on delivery. This could not be effected, 
because the meat was under that of other consignees who were 
unable to authorize landing, having no store room obtainable. 
The shipowner in such circumstances stood to be shot at by the 
consignees who were losing their market, for he could not throw 
the meat of the others out on the quay. 


Freights fell, of course, as frozen meat cargo became regular 
and bulky. On the first shipment from New Zealand, that of 
the Dunedin, the freight was 2^d. ; steamers of the same line 
are carrying meat to-day at \d. The freight on the first meat 
vessel from the Plate, the s.s. Meath, was 2%d. In 1891 New 
Zealand mutton freight was reduced to Id., by 1894 to feZ., 


and by 1807 to Jrf. The present rate of freight on frozen meat 
from Australia to United Kingdom ports, say jjd. per lb., and 
\$d. to Mediterranean ports, shippers consider too high. It la 
only the great quantities of meat carried, and the construction 
of specially designed steamers, that allow of more moderate 
rates being fixed. Shipowners, when asked, say that frozen 
HH-.-it is not a " good paying freight." An occurrence which 
would seem to fortify this assertion was the taking out of the 
refrigerating machinery from the sailer Hinemoa some yean 
ago, the owner, Mr. Leslie, declaring that ordinary cargo would 
pay better. Still, for the splendid and well-equipped vessels 
of the lines bringing food products from South America and 
Australasia there can be no doubt that the frozen meat trade 
has been a very profitable occupation indeed, and responsible to 
no small extent for the development of the " refrigerated fleet." 

Multiplicity of Marks. 

One of the greatest burdens the shipowners have to bear, 
with what philosophy they may in the New Zealand and 
Australian trade is the excessive sub-division of the mutton 
and lamb consignments into marks. The system has come 
about through the personal part which the farmers (mainly 
in New Zealand) take in the business. Where the growers 
sell their stock to the freezing works, as is the case invariably 
in Argentina, and usually in Australia, the grouping of the 
carcasses into separate parcels and the placing of distin- 
guishing marks on them is only governed in the main by 
the consignees to whom they go. But the way in which the 
New Zealand trade is done involves the division, to a consider- 
able degree, of the frozen meat shipments from a works. There 
may be scores of c.i.f. buyers interested in the meat shipped in 
a liner by one of the freezing establishments, and such lots have 
to be " delivered to marks." This is bad enough, but where the 
shipowner and the subsequent handlers, too find this split- 
ting up maddening is when the New Zealand farmer sends in his 
few sheep frequently less than a hundred to the works, and 
upon those carcasses being specially marked, and each 


grade of weight and quality kept separate. It is natural, perhaps, 
that he should desire that an account sales should reach him, 
giving the sale price of each class of carcass in his particular 
lot ; but his action places an almost unbearable burden upon the 
various agents he employs to put his meat on the English 
market, namely, the shipowner, the storekeeper, and the con- 
signee. In the course of the discussion of a paper on " The 
Inspection and Distribution of Meat Foods," read by Mr. F. 
Knowles before the Cold Storage and Ice Association in April, 
1910, a speaker said that on one occasion, owing to the multi- 
plicity of marks occurring in a frozen meat cargo arriving at 
Liverpool, it had taken him a whole week to get 2,000 lambs 
from a ship, and all that time he had been constantly travelling 
between Liverpool and Manchester. Carters sometimes aban- 
doned altogether contracts for carrying such meat to store 
because of the delay in discharging from the vessel owing to 
the marks difficulty. 

To take an actual shipment of mutton from New Zealand in 
1909 from one of the North Island Works, for 6,000 carcasses 
there were no less than 460 different marks. Again, in the case 
of one bill of lading for 211 sheep, altering the marks and 
numbers, this is how the division was made : 


2 Ships 


2 Ships 























2 Ships 













































211 0/8 

Now, in all the processes through which these carcasses pass 
from works to market, "HFC 705/7 " (one sheep) has got 


to be kept separate. That IB the theory, but at times it i 
absolutely impossible to do so, and it is to be feared that 

II F C 705/7" gets mixed up with other goods. It is 
obvious that such a system of business is faulty ; it would be 
so with any description of merchandise, more or less, but \\ith 
I !! -liable produce like frozen meat it is often fatal. The great 
thing with refrigerated meat is to save handling, and multi- 
plicity of marks makes for handling. An enormous amount 
of sorting over of meat cargoes takes place at the point of 
discharge before "HFC 705/7 " and its fellows can be got 
at, and in this sorting over the meat gets damaged. This matter 
is mentioned here not only to record an existing feature of the 
trade, but to urge strongly upon all parties in the New Zealand 
trade to see if the farmers cannot preserve their own individual 
interests by other means. There is no doubt that New Zealand 
meat suffers greatly from the way in which it has to be handled 
in separate lots ; exposure to the atmosphere causes much loss 
of bloom. The bright ruddy appearance of a newly arrived 
crossbred sheep is a wonderful market asset. Canterbury, 
New Zealand, has been the centre of this sub-division system. 
In 1907 the shipowners began to take action, and since then the 
question has been constantly discussed, and conferences with 
merchants have been held. In the Australian trade, where the 
shipowners were unhampered by contracts, they took action 
by stamping bills of lading to the effect that they would not 
be responsible for sub-marks. A " sorting store " at the Dock 
stores in London was mooted in 1892 and later, in order to deal 
with this difficulty, but clashings of interests and the small 
extra expense per carcass involved prevented reform being 
carried out. In 1899 the marks trouble became very pro- 
nounced and shipowners threatened " pooling " the cargoes. 

A scheme to adopt special stripes varying in design and 
colour for use on the meat wraps, so as to provide one distin- 
guishing and easily visible brand for each works was suggested 
in 1909 1910, and met with the approval of shipowners in 
principle, but in working out the details many trivial objec- 
tions were raised which still remain to be dealt with before 
the shippers will willingly adopt the recommendation. It has 


much to commend it as a means of lessening the handling 
at this end. 

Many of the criticisms made of London methods of 
discharge would have no existence but for the continued use 
of so many distinctive marks in each cargo especially from 
New Zealand. The endless sub-divisions employed are an 
anachronism relics of the youthful days of the trade when 
the farmer was the freezing company. Argentina, Uruguay, 
Patagonia, all ship in big lines of 500 to 1,000 or even 5,000 
carcasses of one mark. Until Australia and New Zealand can 
act similarly, they will be handicapped in their efforts to secure 
the trade of the big retailers. 

The Shipowner and the South American Meat Trade. 

In 1883, when the first shipments of frozen meat were ready 
to be despatched from the Campana works, Buenos Aires, there 
were no shipowners with sufficient knowledge of the possibilities 
of the new industry to induce them to instal refrigerating 
machinery and insulation in their steamers at their own expense, 
so the shippers the River Plate Fresh Meat Co. had to put 
in the machines, etc., themselves. Their initial shipment, in 
1883, was brought by the s.s. Meath, as stated earlier in this 
book. The vessel arrived in London in January, 1884, via 
Antwerp, where she had discharged some meat. The s.s. Meath 
and the s.s. Wexford the next vessel both owned by Mr. R. 
M. Hudson, of Sunderland, and running under Messrs. Houlders' 
contract, continued in the regular Plate trade until 1886, and 
for many years afterwards as independent units available for 
chartering to any part of the world. In addition to these 
vessels were the s.s. Zenobia and Zephyrus, which were fitted 
with Haslam cold air machinery. The " Z " boats, owned by 
Messrs. Turner, Brightman and Co., were, and are still, taken by 
the River Plate Fresh Meat Co. on long time charters ; except- 
ing the s.s. Zephyrus and Zenobia, which ran under the Houlder 
contract until 1893, the various " Z " boats have practically 
been built for the company. The s.s. Zephyrus, by the way, is 
still bringing frozen meat from Argentina though not now on 


account of the River Plate Co. after twenty-eight yean of 
good service as a meat carrier, with the original Haslam 
machinery on board. The River Plate Co. put Haa lam's refri- 
gerating machinery and insulation into ten of the " Z " boats. 
lYom about 1909 the owners of the line have installed the 
machinery and insulation. 

Messrs. Houlder were associated with the conveying of the 
first shipments of frozen meat from the River Plate. As 
mentioned above, Messrs. Houlder contracted to bring to the 
United Kingdom the first shipments from the Campana Works, 
and their chartered vessels, the Meath and the Wexford, there- 
fore, had pride of place in opening the South American trade. 
Referring to the Houlder Lane, the s.s. Hornby Orange and 
Ovingdean Orange were the pioneer ships in the refrigerated 
produce trade of the service, these vessels being fitted in 1890 
and 1895 respectively. Ever since that year the Houlder Lone 
steamers have held a very important position in the South 
American frozen meat trade, conveying meat on contract 
to the ports of the United Kingdom for the various frigorificos. 
For example, they have had carrying contracts with one of the 
largest Argentine frozen meat exporting firms for the past 
sixteen or seventeen years, and with the freezing works at 
Monte Video from the time of their erection. At the present 
time, as far as the service to the " outports " is concerned, the 
Houlder Line is running a refrigerated boat every three weeks 
to Liverpool and Cardiff, and one also every three weeks to 
Southampton, London, and Newcastle. At the time this book 
goes to press the Houlder Line owns the frozen meat carrier 
possessing a larger refrigerated capacity than any other >hip 
in the world ; this is the Sutherland Grange, which has an 
insulated capacity of 397,000 cubic feet. 

Messrs. R. P. Houston and Co. (Houston Line) were one of the 
first firms to insulate and fit their steamers for the conveyance of 
frozen meat from the Argentine Republic to ports in the United 
Kingdom ; this was in the year 1884, and they then fitted up 
four steamers, the first one being the Heaperides. Mr. R. P. 
Houston, M.P., was in Buenos Aires in the early part of 1884, 
and he arranged a contract for a period with the late Senor 


Don Francisco de Sansinena for the conveyance of frozen meat 
to this country. The first live cattle ever shipped from the 
River Plate to Europe were carried by a Houston Line steamer 
and landed at Dunkirk in the year 1884. 

The first steamer of the Lamport and Holt line to carry meat 
from South America was the Thales, in 1887. The European 
ports to which the refrigerated vessels of this service now run are 
Southampton and Liverpool. With the delivery of the two new 
twin screw steamers, Vauban and Vestris, the service will be 
a four-weekly one, calling at Lisbon, Vigo, and Cherbourg with 
passengers, and Southampton and Liverpool with passengers 
and frozen and chilled produce. 

Messrs. H. and W. Nelson, Ltd., as managers of two impor- 
tant refrigerated steamship services from the River Plate to 
England, have played a prominent part in the Argentine 
carrying trade. Formed in the early nineties, for the purpose 
of carrying frozen meat from Argentina for Messrs. James Nelson 
and Sons, Ltd., Messrs. H. and W. Nelson later contracted 
with other meat companies, and fortnightly and weekly services 
are run respectively by the two lines they manage, the Nelson 
Line (Liverpool), Ltd., and the Nelson Steam Navigation Co., 
Ltd., of London. The latter company was formed in 1910 to 
acquire from the Nelson Line (London), Ltd., a company regis- 
tered in the same year, nine new steamers, each of a refrigerated 
capacity of 330,000 cubic feet, and fitted with ammonia com- 
pression refrigerating machinery by the Liverpool Refrigeration 
Co., Ltd., and also a tenth steamer to complete a weekly 
service to London. With these boats, which are a most modern 
and well-equipped type of the chilled meat carrier, were acquired 
freight contracts with the Swift Beef Co., the La Blanca Co., 
the Smithfield and Argentine Meat Co., and the Frigorifico 
Argentine. The first boat run by Messrs. H. and W. Nelson 
was the Highland Scot, in which cold air refrigerating machinery 
was installed by Messrs. J. and E. Hall. 

The Royal Mail Steam Packet Co. first entered the refrige- 
rated trade in 1883, and the first vessel fitted was the s.s. Tagus. 
The mail steamers of the line, which carry meat to Southampton 
only, take twenty-one days from the River Plate ; the cargo 


reesels, despatched to Southampton, London, and Hull, take 
twenty-eight days. The ships of this company carry meat for 
t lu various Argentine meat companies, under long contracts. 

The Chargeurs Rcunis, a French line which runs from South 
America to Havre, via London and Hull, carries chilled 
and frozen meat for the Compania Sansinena de Games 

The Argentine Cargo line, controlled by Messrs. Furness, 
Withy and Co., and Messrs. Birt, Potter and Hughes, has 
vessels carrying refrigerated meat from Argentina to London. 
A new line is to be started about June, 1912, which Messrs. 
Furness, Withy, and Co. and Messrs. Birt, Potter and Hughes, 
Ltd., will control ; this will run from South America to Liver- 
pool in less than twenty-one days. Five vessels for this 
SIT vice are being fitted out, or are in hand, which will each 
have a cubic capacity of 400,000. Arrangements have been 
made so that the vessels of this line will be despatched alter- 
nately with those of the Royal Mail Co. at weekly intervals. 
These steamers are intended chiefly for the conveyance of 
chilled beef. 

Messrs. R. M. Hudson and Sons also run a regular line of 
cargo vessels in the Argentine meat trade. 

Shipping Arrangements of the South American Frigorificos. 
In a previous paragraph appears a note concerning the way 
in which the company which first began the regular despatch of 
frozen meat from Argentina, the River Plate Fresh Meat Co., 
manages its ocean transport. The Compania Sansinena de 
Carnes Congeladas have shipped their frozen and chilled meat 
largely by Messrs. Houlder's steamers, and also by the Chargeurs 
Reunis boats, though the company uses other lines of vessels 
too. In the early days Messrs. Houston's steamers were 
employed. The company despatches its meat from its Argen- 
tine and Uruguayan works to London, Liverpool, Cardiff, Hull, 
Newcastle, and Southampton. Messrs. James Nelson and Sons 
have shipped meat regularly from the Las Palmas works by 
the vessels of the Nelson Line ; the bulk of the meat from these 
works is conveyed to Liverpool. The first shipments de- 
spatched were in 1888, and the s.s. JKannioor, of the Lamport and 


Holt line, was the vessel that brought the initial shipment, 
which was on account of Nelson's River Plate Meat Co. 

The other Argentine freezing works, formed in comparatively 
modern times, those of the La Plata, La Blanca, Smithfield 
and Argentine, and Frigorifico Argentino companies, despatch 
their frozen and chilled meat to British ports by the various 
lines above mentioned. Their shipments to Continental ports 
are carried by specially chartered British steamers and by the 
Italian or Austrian-owned liners. 

The two freezing works in the Straits of Magellan, at Rio 
Seco and San Gregorio, despatch their frozen meat to Liverpool 
by the Houlder steamers, and by other steamers specially 
chartered from time to time. 

The Venezuelan Meat and Products Syndicate ships its meat 
from the works at Puerto Cabello to Southampton by the 
Royal Mail liners, and to Liverpool and the Continent by the 
new s.s. Imataka, belonging to Messrs. Brooker Brothers, and 
McConnell, Ltd. 

Rates of Freight. The usual plan in shipping frozen meat 
on the steamers in the Argentine trade is for the shippers to 
engage a certain space for a definite period. This space has 
to be filled on each voyage, or dead freight has to be paid. 
The present rate of freight on frozen meat may be stated as 
fd. per Ib. for mutton and beef. Chilled beef pays }%d., or 
%\\d. per Ib. on the basis of 105 cubic feet to the ton. Frozen 
meat stows in about 105 cubic feet to the ton, whereas 
chilled beef occupies from 170 to 200 cubic feet to the ton. 

Long contracts are customary in the Argentine trade, usually 
for five years. It may be mentioned that there is little " ship 
damage " to meat from South America ; this may be accounted 
for by the fact that the whole shipload of meat frequently 
represents the loading of one works, or, at most, of three 
works. The average length of voyage of a cargo vessel bringing 
meat from Argentina is twenty-six to twenty-eight days to the 
first English port. 



IT is possible that this subject is not considered as closely by 
the grower of the meat as, with advantage, it might be. For 
instance, the New Zealand farmer takes a deal of interest in 
the marketing at Smithfield of his frozen meat, but shipping 
and insuring he leaves to his agents. The producer, by get t ing 
to note the points where friction occurs, might help the business 
along. As it is plain that heavy insurance charges must react 
unfavourably on the profits of the producer, it is a matter for 
comment that growers of meat in Australia and New Zealand 
have never attempted to grapple seriously with the conditions 
which have not only prevented insurance rates falling of late 
years but have actually sent them up. More satisfactory 
conditions of insurance would certainly be the outcome of 
businesslike and combined efforts for reform by the parties 
concerned ; not alone by the growers, but to some extent the 
merchants and agents who put the meat through. Take 1909, 
when a great outcry was raised in Sydney concerning damaged 
meat from Australia arriving in Great Britain. The Chamber 
of Commerce in Sydney took the matter up, and a committee 
of investigation was formed. Well, the circumstances respon- 
sible for the imperfect handling of the meat had been in exist- 
ence for years ; there was absolutely nothing new, yet the 
meat exporters and shipping merchants apparently were 
" surprised " to hear of such a state of affairs. There were 
few who knew anything at all about the trade who were 
unacquainted with the weaknesses of the export trade as it 
was carried on in New South Wales, and the recommendations 
of the Sydney Chamber of Commerce committee revealed the 
evils existing. For instance, here are a few sample points 
urged : That proper provision should be made at the new 

F.M. L 


abattoirs for weighing and grading meat ; that the Government 
should not allow emaciated or poor-conditioned carcasses to 
be ticketed with the Government label for export ; that the 
vans carrying lamb carcasses from abattoirs to freezing works 
should not be overloaded ; that the existing methods of carting 
and lightering meat from the freezing chambers to export 
vessels in open wagons and lighters was unsatisfactory ; and so 
on. Such weak points had existed in the light of day, yet 
it was only the tireless wielding of such trenchant pens as 
that of Captain A. W. Pearse that secured due notice of the 
misdeeds wrought in the name of refrigerated export. 

The issues with which this chapter is concerned are at times 
so involved that the Courts of Law have to be visited in order 
to get judicial ruling. From 1880 onwards the insurance of 
frozen meat has presented peculiar difficulties, and the under- 
writer has been slow to adapt himself to the situation satis- 
factorily to all interests in this new section of his business. The 
frozen meat trade is even yet a new one, and before it settles 
down quite permanently into its groove in the commercial 
world all the mercantile methods by which it is handled must 
become more defined and scientifically sound. 

Early Insurance Covers. 

The pioneer shipment by the Dunedin from New Zealand 
was insured at 5 5s. per cent., as stated in Chapter II., and 
the first shipment of the Mataura in 1883 from New Zealand 
was insured for 4,000 by seven offices at 7 7s. per cent., 
w.p.a. Insurance was effected then by local insurance com- 
panies. A little later the premium, for " all risks " policies, 
reverted to 5 5s. per cent. By 1886 the export of meat from 
New Zealand had, according to the Otago Marine Underwriters' 
Association, become so well understood that many of the risks 
incidental to the introduction of the business had entirely 
disappeared. Commenting on this, the Australasian Insurance 
and Banking Record in 1897 observed that " consignees had 
not at that time educated themselves up to their present high 
standard in the science of claim making." Generally speaking, 


for the first ten years there was not much to complain about 
in the tarrying of the New Zealand cargoes; from 1882 to 
1887, out of 172 shipments only nine were returned as in 
" unsatisfactory condition," that is to say, thoroughly unsatis- 
factory condition. But the Australian records do not read so 
\\rll , from 1880 to 1887, out of 127 shipments there were 
nineteen cargoes on the black list. 

Steadily in the nineties this " unsatisfactory condition " of 
the meat on arrival increased, as will be seen from the following 
quotation from the Australian and New Zealand Underwriters' 
Association report for 1895 : " Frozen Meat. It would be 
impossible to omit from this report reference to the subject 
of frozen meat, the most absorbing, interesting, and perplexing, 
of the year. Notwithstanding the constant, anxious, and 
varied attention given to it, the experience of the past twelve 
months has shown how baffled have been all the attempts made 
to bring the treatment of this interest into a satisfactory con- 
dition. Vast as is the trade, paramount in its importance to 
the colonies, and of momentous consequence to the carrying 
companies, it must yet be reported that, with all these interests 
in combination to make their efforts a success, disappointment 
and failure has been the result." 

Insurance matters continued unsatisfactory till 1895, when 
the underwriters drew up and adopted a new clause, which 
cleverly met the difficulty of how to exclude certain cold stores 
in which damage to frozen meat had occurred. Appended to 
the clause was a list of " approved " stores. In the clause the 
period of insurance on the meat after landing was cut down to 
sixty days as a maximum ; " bone taint " was excluded. But 
the passing of this clause did not improve matters, and claims 
became heavier and heavier. The underwriters thought they 
were being victimized by market practices in assessing damage, 
which in those days was done on the market on the basis of 
" sound values." The underwriters considered that high 
" sound values " were engineered so as to throw into strong 
relief the goods to be surveyed. So they amended the frozen 
meat clause once again (1897), and fixed thirty days from 
ship's arrival as the outside period of cover ; at the same time 

L 2 


they insisted that the meat should be surveyed, and any 
damage assessed in store and not on the market. 

A market annual for 1897 stated that on the frozen meat 
imported from Australia from February to March and from 
June to November a depreciation equal to %d. per Ib. on 750,000 
carcasses had taken place through faulty condition ; out of 
forty-six cargoes, twenty-one contained meat which was con- 
demned. In the following year 20 per cent, of the meat 
cargoes arrived in a damaged state. 

In referring further to insurance premiums, it may be stated 
that in December, 1895, the sailing vessel Hinemoa carried 
frozen mutton and lamb from Melbourne to London, and then 
the rate was 90s. per cent., with 10s. per cent, extra for the 
proportion frozen on board. Fifteen months later the same 
vessel lifted another cargo, when the rates were 65s. net for 
mutton and lamb, and 85s. net for beef. 

In 1897 the Hinemoa took another loading insured at 90s. 
per cent., and in March following, the Opawa, also a sailer, 
carried meat to Durban insured at 5 5s. per cent. Steamers 
in the meantime began to cater more for the trade, and with 
the growth of competition amongst underwriters rates were 
gradually reduced. In March, 1898, the first frozen meat 
tariff came into force. The " all risks " rate on mutton to the 
United Kingdom was then fixed at 47s. 6d. for works, voyage, 
and thirty days' storage by P. and 0. steamers, 70s. by other 
steamers and regular liners. 

Claims, Surveys, and Allowances. 

The adjustment of claims has always been a very sore point. 
When the surveys and allowances were made on the market, 
the importers' theory was that only when loss was actually 
made in retailing the meat would allowances be claimed ; if the 
meat was accepted by retail buyers as sound nothing could be 
claimed. But when it was decided by underwriters, in face 
of opposition from traders, that surveys must be held in store, 
the consignees, to protect themselves against possible loss, 


necessarily made claims upon " estimated losses " before sale. 
This system has prevailed ever since. Consignees protested 
against the thirty days' limit, but the insurance people were 
obdurate. Meat condemned by the sanitary authorities was 
limited in claims under the new arrangements to the current 
" sound value," thus reducing what proved to be in some 
oaooo excessive insurance to the actual value on a lower market. 
The cost of survey in store was fixed at 1 Is. per 1,000 car- 
casses " surveyed " ; the consignee and the underwriter were 
both represented at the survey, and the underwriters paid the 
survey expenses of both parties. This practice existed up to 

In connection with the general question of damage to frozen 
meat in Australian shipments, it is well to chronicle here the 
action taken by the New South Wales Freezing Companies' 
Association in 1899. With a view to checking the damage to 
frozen meat, which at that time passed all bearing, the Associa- 
tion sent to London Mr. C. C. Tayloe, of Sydney, who urged 
the extension of the Association's operations to London. This 
was effected, and on March 25, 1899, Mr. Septimus Merriman, 
the London secretary of the Association, issued a circular 
letter informing the trade what had been done. A scheme was 
worked out showing a contemplated expenditure of 4,000 a 
year. Surveyors in Sydney and London were to inspect the 
loading and discharging of the Sydney-shipped meat. The 
Miiveys were to include examination of ships' refrigerating 
machinery and insulation " supervision of all means of 
carriage from steamer to store." It was a point of the pro- 
gramme to get shippers to insure f.p.a., and under this it was 
hoped to bring down rates to 255. and 20s. respectively for local 
companies and Lloyd's. " Shippers must remember," ran the 
dn-ular, " that with the proposed clause it will be everyone's 
interest from first to last not to have claims." The proposal 
of the Association was never entirely put into operation, 
i-hkfly because it was urged that steps be first taken to put 
things right in Sydney. This most rational step did not 
commend itself to the promoters, and the whole scheme 
gradually died a natural death. 


Allusion may be made to the proposal put forward by 
importers about the middle of the nineties to form in London 
the "Australasian Frozen Meat Insurance Co." with a capital 
of 100,000. The idea was that co-operation introduced into 
underwriting would provide the panacea required. Many well- 
known firms discussed preliminaries, but the affair did not take 
definite shape. 

With the opening of the new century improvement took 
place in the general conditions of handling frozen meat through- 
out the various stages of the industry. A better class of vessel 
was brought into service, fitted in a more modern style ; some 
of the older ships conveying meat were under-powered for the 
refrigerating work they had to do. New well-equipped cold 
stores were built, and transport arrangements at the ports of 
debarkation were also improved. Barges and vans were more 
efficiently insulated, and lightermen were instructed to proceed 
to their respective stores (when the tide permitted) after work 
at ship's side had finished for the day ; that is, they did not 
remain in dock all night waiting for a complete load on the 
following day. Also on arrival at the store the barges were 
unloaded immediately. With these reforms the " unsatisfactory 
cargoes," heard of so much from 1885 to 1899, were seldom 
recorded. The two great " Lloyd " institutions Lloyd's, 
the underwriters at the Royal Exchange, and Lloyd's Register 
of British and Foreign Shipping played a prominent and 
useful part in improving matters. Lloyd's underwriters at that 
time really took little or no interest in the improvements 
referred to in fact, many of them permitted meat to be ware- 
housed in unapproved stores. Any action that was taken 
was at the initiative of the Institute of London Underwriters, 
which organization is the mouthpiece of Lloyd's underwriters. 
The Institute of London Underwriters required the barges 
and cold stores to be surveyed and reports submitted to 
them before admittance on the approved list could be 
granted. Arrangements were made between the shipowners 
and Lloyd's Register for Lloyd's surveyors at different world's 
ports to undertake an inspection of the refrigerating and 
insulating fittings of steamers. This examination being 

THE I \D1.K\\ HI I IK- 1M>K 151 

concluded satisfactorily, the ship was from the point of view 
of freezing machinery and insulation " seaworthy." 

In 1908 there were several serious accidents to Australasian 
steamers and consequent heavy claims on underwriters. As a 
consequence, insurance rates were put up from 37s. 6d. per cent, 
to 45*. per cent, from New Zealand and from 50s. per cent, to 
600. per cent, from Australia. The insurance position and the 
feeling in the trade one sees in the following extract from the 
annual review issued by Messrs. W. Weddel and Co. for 1908 : 
" Until underwriters will differentiate between good and bad 
risks at the various works, on the various ships, and in the 
various stores engaged in the trade, instead of treating all their 
risks as equal, very little inducement is offered to any individual 
to lay out money in order to increase his precautions against 
damage. Underwriters have recently taken steps to bring 
home to individual shipowners their responsibility for damage 
done in transit. Were some similar course adopted to fix 
responsibility for specific damage done in any freezing works or 
stores and adjust rates accordingly, much good would result 
to underwriters and to the trade as a whole. With the experi- 
ence of refrigeration now acquired, there ought to be no serious 
damage to frozen meats, and but little to chilled, except in 
cases where an unforeseen accident happens." 

Underwriters were restless about this time, and in 1909 they 
put in force their new clause, which introduced some drastic 
changes pressing hard on the trade. They stated that the 
insurance of meat did not pay them, and that the new regulations 
were brought into the policy to make the business profitable. 
Negotiations took place between the importers, under the 
auspices of the Frozen Meat Trade Association, and the Institute 
of London Underwriters, but the insurance interests were 
obdurate, and the new clause gradually worked into the 
Australasian frozen meat industry. Some of the changes were 
welcomed by all, such as the one insisting that in loading and 
discharge only trucks, vans, and barges which were provided 
with efficient insulation were to be used. 

The A 1 Clause. 



Clause A 1 (Freezing Works, Voyage and 60 Days). 

1. The risk commences from the time the interest is passed into the Cooling 
and/or Freezing Chambers of the Works at and, unless previously terminated, 
continues on board the vessel and/or in Refrigerating Stores in the United Kingdom 
(subject to the conditions hereinafter mentioned) for a period not exceeding 
60 days (warranted not more than 30 days on board the vessel) from arrival of 
vessel at destination as per policy, provided always : 

2. That it is warranted by the Assured that the meat is in good condition and 
properly dressed, cooled, and frozen at the Freezing Works, and that the period 
between the time the risk commences and shipment on ocean-going vessel shall not 
exceed 60 days. 

3. That where the interest has to be conveyed by rail and/or street vans and/or 
lighters prior to shipment by oversea vessel, such railway trucks and/or street vans 
and/or lighters must be insulated, otherwise an additional premium of 10/- per cent. 
to be paid ; and after discharge from the vessel the interest shall be carried in 
insulated street vans and/or insulated lighters, otherwise an additional premium of 
10/- per cent, to be paid. 

4. That the cold stores in the United Kingdom shall be approved by the Institute 
of London Underwriters. 

5. That any disposal of the interest at destination other than by storage as above 
(except with the consent of the Underwriters) or any removal of the interest from 
the cold stores at destination previous to the expiry of the 60 days above mentioned 
terminates the insurance on such meat, and no claim for damage shall attach, 
unless, immediately on the first discovery of any damage to or deterioration of any 
part of the interest hereby insured, notice shall have been given to the Underwriters, 
and the amount of depreciation agreed to by them prior to the termination of the 

6. During the period (if any) between assessment of depreciation and termination 
of the insurance the risks covered hereunder are those of fire and breakdown of 
machinery only. 

7. That in the event of interest being transhipped, or forwarded on to destination 
in the United Kingdom by rail, no risk to attach hereunder unless notice of such 
transhipment or rail carriage be given to the London Representative of the 
Company prior to commencement of such risk, the transhipment or forwarding to 
be only by steamer fitted with refrigerating machinery or by rail in properly 
insulated vans. An extra premium at the rate of 20/- per cent, to be paid for 
such risk. 

8. That the value to be made good in the case of meat condemned on or after 
arrival shall in no case exceed the sound market value, less usual charges. 

9. That no adjustment charges shall be incurred unless with the written 
consent of Underwriters who shall not be liable for survey fees other than those 
of their own surveyors. 

9A. That in the event of any claim for loss before shipment, or for damage in 
consequence of which the meat is not shipped, the same shall be adjusted on the 
basis of the actual values at the time and place of such loss or damage (plus any 


freight payable whether the meat bo shipped or not, and charge*) irrespective of 
any other value declared in the policy. 

10. The insurance COTCTS low from defective condition of the meat from every 
cause (except bone-taint and improper dressing, cooling and freezing), which 
shall arise daring the currency of the insurance, but always subject to the Free of 
Capture and Seizure Clause. 

11. Average payable if amounting to 3 per cent, on each carcass, and/or two 
half carcasses, and/or four haunches, and/or eight legs mutton or lamb, and/or 
each package beef, veal or pork, and/or each valuation separately, and/or on the 

12. The Underwriters to be credited with any compensation or allowance 
obtainable from the Shipowner in respect of average attaching hereto. 

I:?. It is hereby agreed that, unless expressly otherwise stated herein, carcasses 
or pieces comprised in any one mark and valuation, or carcasses or pieces of various 
marks comprising one valuation, shall, for purposes of average adjustment, be 
deemed of the same weight and insured value. 

14. Including all liberties as per Bills of Lading or Contract of Affreightment 
(subject to additional premiums, if any, as per tariff) but it is warranted that the 
obligation of the Shipowner to provide a seaworthy vessel fit to carry the cargo 
shall be fully preserved in such Bills of Lading or Contract of Affreightment. 

15. General Average and Salvage Charges payable as per foreign statement if so 
claimed, or per York-Antwerp Rules if in accordance with the Contract of 

I''-. In the event of the vessel making any deviation or change of voyage, it is 
mutually agreed that such deviation or change shall be held covered at a premium 
to be arranged, provided due notice be given by the Assured on receipt of advice 
of such deviation or change of voyage. 

17. In the event of damage notice to be immediately given to The Salvage 
Association, London. 

This clause is now the basis of all the insurance of frozen meat 
where the risk starts in the freezing works. There are other 
clauses where the risk starts from time of shipment, but that 
merely alters paragraph 1 of the clause. In other clauses in 
force the risk terminates at ship's side on ship's arrival. Para- 
graph 17 is only found in insurances effected at Lloyd's ; 
where the insurance is effected with a company, notice is given 
to the company direct. As to how long this clause will remain 
in force it is difficult to state. Broadly, the clause has really 
been in force with the insurance companies for many years. 
Although within the last eighteen months a few alterations 
have been made by them, these alterations are embodied in 
the A 1 Clause. Many of the insurances effected at Lloyd's 
in the past did not contain such stringent clauses as are now 
in force, and it may be that in order to obtain business 
the underwriters will revert later on to the more lenient clauses, 


or, alternatively, traders will more and more adopt f.p.a. 
insurance (i.e., against the ordinary marine risks) plus break- 
down of machinery, which is a much less expensive method 
of insuring. 

Renunciation of the Passive Attitude. 

For the twenty-five years during which the question of 
insurance has been a burning one the underwriters have 
apparently considered that claims were out of proportion to 
the damage. Until 1909 they made little effort to enforce 
practical reforms in the working of the trade, preferring to 
cover themselves by raising rates when the balance was on the 
wrong side. But in the new clause of 1909 this passive policy 
was departed from. They devoted themselves, with a view to 
alteration, particularly to the consideration of the system 
under which consignees in London made claims, and whilst, of 
course, recognizing their right to call for surveys on goods 
(this is done now practically in all cases, as the thirty days' 
cover often runs off before goods are taken out of store, and 
the meat owners must protect themselves), the underwriters 
desired to cut down expenses of survey, which were often very 
heavy. Their new scale of survey fees charged from June, 
1909, was 10s. 6d. per 500 carcasses, 21s. per 1,000, and 10s. Qd. 
for each succeeding 1,000 ; beef quarters double the above. 

Some of the new rules introduced in this clause of 1909 
appear somewhat one-sided, but underwriters evidently 
thought the position required a firm hand. The view has often 
been expressed that underwriters might have departed, with 
great advantage to insurers and insured, from their laisser faire 
attitude ten or fifteen years earlier by endeavouring to check 
by their policy clauses any faults in the system of handling 
frozen meat which affected their interests. By doing so they 
would have taken their part in the building up of a correct 
system and helped to place the trade generally on a sound 
footing. Now, with the new rules, they have brought up the 
business with a round turn. The underwriters' answer to 
this is that it is the duty of the merchants to endeavour to 


discover means whereby their goods can be carried efficiently, 
and that tlu- underwriter has no control over the handling of 
goods, and can only gauge his risk by losses and arrange his 
pit tiiiutn accordingly. But the warranties in the A 1 Clause 
show that underwriters can exercise, and have exercised, a 
salutary and even arbitrary " control over the handling of the 

The incidence of damage to frozen meat, where occurring, 
divides itself roughly into three classes : first, that which takes 
place in the freezing works or during transit to the ship ; 
secondly, that which occurs afloat owing to faulty refrigeration 
or defective insulation of the ship's holds ; and, thirdly, that 
occurring ashore, whether it be during discharge, in transit 
from ship, in the cold stores, or in the general process of trans- 
port, handling, and marketing. Under the first head, losses of 
late years have been greatly reduced, and in this connection 
there may be mentioned a point which the shipowners make, 
viz., that very frequently in commercial and official statements, 
the damage occurring to parcels of meat subsequent to 
discharge is attributed to the ship which carried them. The 
reason why this is done is because the shipowner is an easier 
party to locate than one or other of the various interests 
subsequently handling the meat ; but it is hard on the ship- 
owner as a rule, though there are some defective ships now, 
just as there were ten years ago, and also easy-going captains 
who take defective meat on board. 

Three Different Views of Meat Insurance. 
The Shipowner's View. To quote the shipowner's own 
words, ho says his duty is to carry meat, and that whatever 
happens en route is an insurance risk, assuming that ho has done 
his utmost in appointing skilled officers and engineers, and in 
having his refrigerating plant and insulation tested and passed 
by Lloyd's surveyors representing the underwriters. He only 
charges a carrying rate, not one to include insurance. The 
shipper pays the insurance premium to the underwriter to 
cover the risks outside actual carriage of meat. In practice, 
the latter pays the insurer the loss, in case of damage, and then 


attacks the shipowner to recover the money, although the 
latter never received any premium for insurance. The 
negligence of the shipowner's servants is the human fallible 
element which cannot be guarded against entirely. The ship- 
owner inserts a negligence clause in his bill of lading, and he says 
that such a proviso is in force in all other trades. Under such 
a clause, he maintains, the ship should not be liable for damage 
to frozen meat, subject to the conditions mentioned above 
as to care to be taken by the owner. He maintains that the 
time has now come for a rearrangement the shipowner 
cannot stand the strain. He says it is unfair that the under- 
writer who takes the premium should put this risk on him. 
The shipowner is willing to do everything reasonably possible 
to ensure good carriage, but he says that there is some point at 
which his responsibility should cease. He would like to have 
a final certificate that the underwriter accepts the steamer as 
a good insurance risk, assuming its seaworthiness, before the 
meat is put on board. Thus he wishes to define the point at 
which the risk of the insurer begins, he and the shipowner 
taking the meat at carrying rates, and the underwriter taking 
the insurance risks. The shipowner suggests that the under- 
writer should pay more attention to the circumstances of the 
trade and to claims relating to damage after the goods leave 
the ship. He maintains that with the present insulation and 
duplicate system of refrigeration there is not much chance of 
damage to meat whilst on board. He proposes that two 
policies should be issued, the one operating from the moment 
the meat is received from the works till delivered ex ship, the 
other (if necessary) for the risk of transit and store. Theoreti- 
cally, this suggestion is admirable, but it is not workable, as it 
involves the survey of all meat as landed, i.e., before passing 
under the second cover a practical impossibility. 

The Underwriter's View. No shipowner, says he, has been 
made liable for any meat which has been damaged en route, 
unless it has been shown that the refrigerating machinery 
has not been in a fit condition to perform its work before the 
cargo was put on board. Small claims which he has had to 
meet for carcasses being dirty through his men or stevedores 

TIM-. 1 \D1 It WRITERS' RISK l r, 

trampling over them are rightly made. The underwriter 
states that the shipowner's suggestion that the underwriter 
should pay more Munition to the circumstances of the trade, 
and to claims relating to damage after the goods leave the ship, 
seems to be entirely outside his purview, as it is quite certain 
that lOr any damage that occurs to goods after they leave his 
ship the shipowner is not responsible. Speaking broadly, it 
appears to the underwriter that, if the meat is shipped in good 
hard-frozen condition, and the ship's machinery does its work 
properly, it will be landed in good order. " Instead of that, 
what do we find ? " the underwriter argues. " From vessels 
arriving, especially from Australia, much meat lands here 
badly misshapen, carcasses are found in some cases quite 
flattened out, off colour, and otherwise seriously damaged. 
Probably, this damage is due to the goods being shipped 
insufficiently frozen. But if the shipowner has given a clean 
bill of lading for goods that are shipped soft he has only 
himself to thank if he is held to blame." 

The Merchant's View. As regards the shipowner's liability 
the shipper and the underwriter have much the same stand- 
point. The shipowner's case has been stated in his own 
words, likewise the underwriter's ; now here is the view of a 
merchant engaged in the frozen meat trade : " In the carriage 
of goods by land and sea there is an underlying principle that 
the carrier shall provide a conveyance reasonably fit and 
proper for the work required of it. Whether the conveyance 
is really fit and proper can only be judged on completion of the 
voyage or journey by the condition in which the goods (signed 
for as in good condition when shipped) are handed over to 
the receivers. It is, therefore, manifestly unreasonable for 
a shipowner in the case of frozen meat to seek to free 
himself from all liability for the condition in which the meat 
arrives at its destination. If steamers were surveyed by 
thoroughly competent men and declared to be in a fit and 
proper state to carry frozen meat, the shipowner need have 
little fear of being saddled with a claim for damage, provided 
reasonable care be exercised by the engineers in charge, and 
even then he is amply protected by the ' negligence ' clause in 


the bills of lading. It is not in the ordinary business of an 
underwriter of goods to bear the shipowner's obligations as 
regards seaworthiness. Such risks can be insured, and, if 
the shipowner feels that these obligations are more than he 
can stand by, it is for him to take steps to insure against his 
own liability and not try to force the shipper into doing so." 

The Appeal to the Courts. 

This radical difference in point of view as between the 
carrier and the insurer of frozen meat is as sharp to-day as 
fifteen years ago. The shipowner, having done his best to 
provide a seaworthy and " meatworthy " vessel, proceeds, 
where possible, to contract himself out of liability for damage 
that may occur on board by special clauses in his bill of lading. 
He cannot do this now with regard to Australia, because in 
December, 1904, the Commonwealth Sea Carriage of Goods Act 
was assented to. Under this Act all clauses in bills of lading 
whereby the ship or owners are relieved of liability for loss or 
damage to goods occurring on the ship arising from faulty con- 
ditions or negligence of employees are rendered null and void. 
This sweeping measure settled the question for Australian 
exporters, as the Act applies to ships carrying goods from 
Australia to places outside Australia. The measure had its 
origin probably in the celebrated Nairnshire case, in which the 
shipowner contended that his bill of lading covered him against 
loss arising from any defects that may have existed in the vessel 
previous to the loading of the meat. This case was carried 
to the House of Lords and went against the shipowner. 

Frozen Meat Insurance Details. 

In the early days when insuring meat was a new and un- 
popular risk (it was from the first, and is now, unpopular on 
account of the numerous losses made) the premiums charged 
were very high ; 805., 865., and 90s. per cent, were not unknown 
in the New Zealand trade. Then premiums were lowered to 
80s. and 70s. per cent., at which figure they stood for a long 
time. About ten years ago rates were lowered to 65s. and 60s. 

I III I \l)l \(\\ KIT! !{-' RISK 

Up to that period the business had been done by companies, 
both in London and New Zealand; when Lloyd's took up 
insuring frozen meat at the end of the nineties, premiums fell. 
From then onwards rates have gradually fallen, with 40*. 
as a minimum for mutton. Premium rates have stiffened 
for some time past owing to underwriters having suffered 
loss through the secondary risk, the loss of vessels. There is 
now little elasticity in rates, and but slight differentiating 
between firms, ships, freezing works, etc. A great deal of meat 
insurance is done in New Zealand by the local insurance 
companies, but Lloyd's have the greater part of the Australian 
business as well as most of the South American connection. 
The large works in Argentina have floating policies both with 
Lloyd's and the companies. The Thames and Mersey, Com- 
mercial Union, Indemnity Marine, Ocean Marine, and other 
British and foreign offices handle a great amount of frozen 
meat insurance. 

Consignees of meat often elect to insure f.p.a., but the 
more general plan almost invariably so in the c.i.f. trade- 
is to have the ordinary " all risks " policy. This policy has 
the special frozen meat clause (already set forth in this chapter) 
attached to it ; this does not cover bone-taint. Usually, how- 
ever, insurance starts at the freezing works, including freezing 
risks, all sea risks, and continues until 30 or 60 days after the 
meat is stored. In the last conference clause bone-taint and 
improper dressing are specially excluded. Lloyd's A 1 Clause, 
" Freezing works, voyage, and sixty days," gives a list of 
stores at English ports where the meat can be discharged ; 
90 per cent, of Australasian frozen meat is carried under this 
clause. The premium for this risk has been lately about 45a. 
per cent, on approved covers. F.p.a. cover, including break- 
down of machinery, is issued at about 25s. per cent. ; such a 
policy would be for the voyage only, the shipper giving a 
warranty that the meat was in sound condition when put 
aboard. A risk adopted by one of the leading New Zealand 
freezing companies is to cover 75 per cent, only of the goods 
against all risks, for which they pay about 40*. per cent. 
They reinsure the 25 per cent, balance f.p.a.. including 


breakdown of machinery, at 15s. per cent. An increasing vogue 
in the New Zealand meat export trade is to cover total loss of 
vessel only, which can be done for about 7s. Qd. per cent. 

The mutual clubs formed amongst shipowners for the pooling 
of losses have included the frozen meat risk. These clubs have, 
however, considered the suggestion that losses falling upon the 
owners resulting from frozen meat carriage should be excluded, 
because of the heavy drafts upon them in connection with law 
cases these cases were fought by the clubs. 

The suggestion has been put forward by merchants and 
shippers in Australasia and England that underwriters should 
charge differential rates for insuring frozen meat according to 
the records of individual vessels in the " refrigerated fleet " for 
conveying meat well or imperfectly. But such a proposal is 
not workable, some merchants argue, and any attempt, they 
say, to carry it out would introduce all sorts of complexities 
into the business. But it is already done every day in 
connection with ordinary cargo insured f.p.a., and does 
come into operation to that extent in "all risks " cover. 
As it is, frozen meat rates vary on the different shipping lines. 

The Surveyor's Duties. 

The needs of the frozen meat trade have called into 
existence the surveyor, who is required to possess special 
experience in the meat business and knowledge of refrigeration 
and cold storage. The surveyor makes his appearance on the 
scene when the consignee of a parcel of meat calls for a survey 
on it. This survey takes place in the presence of two surveyors, 
acting respectively for the importer and the underwriter. 
They go to the store and inspect a percentage of the meat, 
usually 10 per cent., sometimes more. Occasionally small parcels 
are found without blemish, but in a large consignment it is 
difficult to escape some cases of injury, and an allowance is made, 
at so much per Ib. on so much per cent, of the whole, according 
to the results of the investigation of the percentage examined. 
The surveyors aim at doing no more than to compensate the 
owner for the difference between the selling value of his damaged 


meat and its Bound value. This is the practice with regard to 
the great bulk of Australasian meat landed in London. In the 
oases of some large importers handling their own goods, the 
underwriters accept their claims made upon all the rejected 
carcasses of any shipment without question ; such claims are 
baaed on the condition of the meat and the market prices of 
the day. 

Classes of Damage. 

The most serious form of damage to frozen meat in transit 
for which claims are made on the underwriter is that which 
arises from the ordinary sea perils, such as vessels stranding, 
collisions, etc. When such disasters happen, they involve heavy 
claims, especially if sea water gets into the meat holds : meat 
which has suffered in this way makes a " bad salvage." Rarely 
nowadays have claims to be made on account of breakdown 
of machinery, although claims were not uncommon in the 
early days of frozen meat transit. All vessels now engaged 
in carrying frozen and chilled meat have their refrigerating 
machinery in duplicate. The risk, therefore, from breakdown 
is very slight. 

The classes of minor damage for which the underwriters have 
to pay under the circumstances just set forth are as follow : 
(1) "off colour"; (2) misshapen; (3) stained, torn, and 
broken carcasses, brine-stained carcasses, bone taint (as a 
rule this damage is not included), dirty carcasses, mould. Bone 
taint is practically confined to beef ; at one time it affected 
mutton, too. It is found in beef from Australia, New Zealand, 
and Argentina. Nos. 1 and 2 are caused by the carcasses 
getting soft at some stage after leaving the freezing works ; 
dirty carcasses come from bad stevedore work in loading and 
discharging ; torn and broken carcasses are the result of mis- 
handling ; and brine-stained meat (which is condemned by the 
sanitary authorities) results when leaking pipes drip on to 
the carcass. Though the underwriters have taken no action to 
prevent the use of unduly low temperatures in the holds of 
meat-carrying ships, their surveyors hold strong views on the 

F.M. M 

subject. From 15 to 17 F. is considered by them to be the 
ideal temperature on land or sea for holding meat in a frozen 
state. An exceedingly dry atmosphere accompanies tempera- 
tures at or approaching zero F., at which meat has been carried 
sometimes, and this, surveyors say, draws moisture from the 
meat, rendering it " off colour " and dull, besides causing need- 
less loss in weight. Many importers believe that more damage 
of this kind is done by frequent and considerable variations of 
freezing temperature than by a very low temperature kept 
fairly constant. 

A special risk attending the transit of chilled beef may be 
glanced at. This is where the rods by which the beef quarters 
are suspended break, through the straining of the vessel or 
from some other cause. The meat is, of course, injured owing 
to its falling in a heap on the floor. It is a moot point, in 
considering underwriters' liability, whether the said rods can 
be considered part of the refrigerating machinery of a vessel, 
and, therefore, what party has to bear the loss caused by such 
accidents. This chapter may be concluded by drawing atten- 
tion to the risk of damage occurring through barges conveying 
frozen meat to the up-town stores colliding with other craft. 



ONE of the most important branches of the frozen produce 
trade is that connected with the cold store or refrigerating 
warehouse, which forms one of the main and strongest links in 
the chain of industries uniting the pastures of the producing 
countries with the consumer's table, the ultimate destination of 
the food produce. The chilling or freezing store which forms 
an adjunct of the freezing works at the point of production is 
not the subject of this chapter, but rather the storage depot at 
the receiving and marketing end, wherein the frozen meat is 
deposited for a longer or shorter time after the vessels have 
discharged their burden at the ocean docks. The storekeeper 
owes his business entirely to the growth of this overseas trans- 
port, the beginning of which was seen in the memorable pioneer 
voyage of the Strathleven. The cold storekeeper is a product 
of the industry. As a rule, the shipowner gives up only part 
of his space to the carriage of frozen produce, but frozen meat, 
butter, fruit, etc., are the storekeeper's all in all. The 
business he does in the preservation of hops, furs, etc., though a 
considerable one if reckoned separately, shrinks to small pro 
portions if compared with his " legitimate " trade, that of the 
storage of food produce. The pioneers of the frozen meat 
trade and their representatives in London and Liverpool had 
no conception of the gigantic and highly organized institution 
which the modern cold store was to become. In their tentative 
way they shipped forward their meat for marketing in London, 
holding very modest views as to the future, and having no 
fixed ideas as to the necessity of an intermediate stage between 
ship and mart. The pioneers who survive and can carry their 
in in * Is back clearly to 1880 must marvel when they contemplate 
present day figures of the cold storage industry in the United 

M 2 


Kingdom. In London alone the public cold stores have a 
total capacity of 2| million carcasses, or, roughly, about a 
quarter of the cubic space occupied by a whole year's imports 
of frozen meat into the metropolis. 

The first experiment in cold storage at the London Docks was 
an installation made for the American trade (which began in 
1874). It was a store in which there was a guttering round the 
top to hold ice. The first mention of public cold stores in 
London occurred in a paragraph in the City Press of June 19, 
1880. Therein it was reported that at a Corporation meeting 
it was agreed to let to Mr. Stevenson Nos. 7 to 12, Market 
Buildings, Charterhouse Street, for a " refrigerated store " for 
twenty-one years from Midsummer, 1880, at 1,000 a year. 
A condition of the tenancy was that the market toll on meat 
entering Smithfield was to be paid. A Mr. Judd is reported to 
have opposed the lease, arguing that it was against public 
morals to do anything which would prevent the getting rid of 
perishable meat as quickly as possible. " The Court should, 
therefore, be careful not to start or encourage a new industry 
for preserving that in which decay has taken place." Probably 
this movement for a store which came to naught, at least 
for the time was engineered by the market salesmen who were 
interested in the success of the Strathleven venture and by the 
interests in the City concerned in the enterprise. 

The Dock Stores. 

No architectural skill was lavished on the first cold store in 
London, that at A Jetty, Victoria Dock, which was then the pro- 
perty of the London and St. Katharine Docks Co. (later amal- 
gamated with the East and West India Docks Co. as the London 
and India Docks Co.). The company was pressed in 1881 by its 
Australian friends to receive and store frozen meat, and in the 
following year the first cold store opened in London was work- 
ing. It was considered that an underground vault was most 
suitable for holding the temperature, and such an apartment was 
fitted up. A small machine was supplied by Messrs. J. and E. 


Hall, and the capacity of this store was only equal to 600 sheep. 
It was, however, soon considerably increased. 

A very interesting description of the first provision of cold 
storage accommodation by the London and St. Katharine 
Docks Co. was given by Colonel B. H. Martindale, C.B., R.E., 
general manager of that company, in the course of the 
discussion of a paper " On Refrigerating and Ice-making 
Machinery and Appliances," read by Mr. T. B. Lightfoot 
before the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1886. This 
paper, by the way, is one of the only two papers on 
refrigeration ever read before that Institution, both being 
contributed by Mr. Lightfoot. Colonel Martindale on that 
occasion said he had been connected for the past five years 

"with the practical working of arrangements for preserving refrigerated meat 
from the Colonies on perhaps the largest scale that had ever been carried out in 
England. In 1881 the dock company were pressed by some of their Australian 
friends to make arrangements for receiving frozen meat and storing and distributing 
it. They began necessarily on a very small scale. Happening to have under one of 
their warehouses a large vault about 600 feet long divided longitudinally into four 
arches, each 16 feet wide, they made use of part of it for their storage. They began 
with a small engine obtained from Messrs. Hall, of Dartford, delivering 10,000 cubic 
feet of cold air per hour ; and that engine did good work until 1884, when it was 
removed to make room for a larger one. They gradually increased the number of 
their cold storage chambers, until they had now got 56 chambers in two vaults. 
The smallest chamber bad a cubic content of 2,273 feet, and the largest of 9,280 feet, 
the total content of the 56 chambers being something over 183,000 cubic feet. It 
was found that the carcasses averaged in weight 56, 60, and 72 Ibs., and if the cham- 
bers could be completely filled they would hold about 59,000 sheep of the first 
weight, 56,000 of the second, and 44,000 of the third. But in practice a space had 
to be left for gangways, and for separating different marks, especially in consign- 
ments from New Zealand ; and a proportionate deduction had, therefore, to be made 
from what could otherwise be stored. Still the chambers could always store about 
44,000 sheep, taking the shipments as they chanced to arrive. The construction of 
the chambers had varied a little in detail. The last chambers that had been built 
had been constructed according to the recommendation of Mr. Haslam, of Derby. 
On the original concrete floor of the vault there was placed a longitudinal layer of 
1 J-inch rough boards, on which were laid transverse bearers, 4 J inches deep by 3 inches 
wide and 21 inches apart. On these bearers was laid a 2}-inch batten floor, grooved 
and tongucd. The sides and roof were constructed with 5J by 3-inch uprights, fixed 
on the floor bearers. On these uprights there was an outer skin of 2-inch boards, 
and an inner skin formed by two thicknesses of 1 J-inch boards, between which was 
a thickness of specially prepared brown paper. The 6J-inch space between the inner 
and outer skins of the sides and roof and the 4 J-inch space between the floor and 
rough boards were filled with carefully dried wood-charcoal. All the boards were 
finished to a uniform thickness and were grooved and tonguod. Cold air was con- 
veyed by wooden trunks from the refrigerating machines into the chambers, entering 


them at one end close to the roof, and being drawn off at the other end, also close 
to the roof, by return air trunks leading back to the refrigerating machines. From 
the quantity of snow made by the engines, the air trunks had to be cleared out 
erery twenty-four hours, and the engine snow-boxes about every four hours." 

Subsequent to the establishment of the stores mentioned, 
the East and West India Docks Co. provided stores upon two 
floating hulks, the Seawitch and the Robert Morrison ; these 
craft together stored 15,000 sheep, and they were moved from 
dock to dock as required, one of them also making a trip with 
a cargo of meat from London to a French port. These floating 
stores were folio wed by stores situated on land in the South West 
India Dock, with a capacity of 14,000 sheep, and it is said the 
company then felt that all the requirements of the trade 
had been met. Docks policy, however, has expanded with the 
trade, and the development of the docks stores has kept pace 
with its growth ; the 500 carcasses capacity of 1882 have become 
822,000 in 1911, including the store at Smithfield. The dock 
companies and their clients always emphasized the advantage 
of storing frozen meat at the point of discharge, and for a long 
time after the start of the trade held a large part of the storing 
business. The development of cold storage as a public service 
was largely due to the companies, and their schedules of 
charges and regulations form the basis of business to this day 
to a great extent. The dock stores were taken over by the Port 
of London Authority in 1909. 

The Smithfield Market Store. 

About 1883 a London cold storage company was promoted 
and duly registered, the names of Messrs. James Anning, 
E. Montague Nelson, Alfred Seale Haslam, Ebenezer Cayford, 
and Alfred Towers being associated with the venture. It was 
styled the Dead Meat Storage Co., Ltd., and had a capital of 
100,000. Messrs. Cayford and Towers had been granted a 
lease of the vaults under the Poultry Market, and these it was 
proposed to turn into a cold store equipped with Haslam's cold 
air machinery. The Dead Meat Storage Co., however, did not 
proceed to operations, and was dissolved by notice in the 
London Gazette in 1890. 

<<>M) STORAGE 167 

Tho concession, however, was taken up by the Central 
Markets Cold Air Stores, Ltd., a company formed in 1884 
with a nominal capital of 30,000. Among the subscribers 
were Messrs. E. 8. Moulder, E. Cayford, Thomas L. Devitt, 
Joseph Moore, C. E. Green, John Bell, and Alfred Towers 
(managing director). Mr. E. Penman was also associated with 
Mr. Towers in the management of the store. The secretary 
was Mr. H. E. Kaye, who retired in 1890 and is now the 
manager of the Blackfriars Cold Storage Co., Ltd. The appear- 
ance of the names of so many important shipowners on the 
subscribers' list of this cold storage company is interesting as 
marking early recognition by the Australian shipowning 
interest of the commercial importance of the coming trade. 
The company was wound up in 1901. This store, that is, in 
the vaults under the poultry section of Smithfield, was not 
a success, its failure, however, being by no means due to 
the Haslam refrigerating machinery installed, which worked 
well, but to defective insulation. Adapting the peculiar 
conditions of these underground spaces to refrigerating work was 
probably too grave a problem for the refrigerating engineering 
knowledge available twenty years ago. 

In 1898 a prominent group of market tenants subscribed the 
necessary capital, and the Smithfield Market Cold Storage Co. 
was formed to take over this property. The title of this 
company was in the following year altered to the London 
Central Markets Cold Storage Co., Ltd., and its premises at that 
time comprised the original section under the Poultry Market 
and the imposing building erected in King Street, adjacent to 
the market buildings. A few years later this company acquired 
a portion of the Midland Railway Co.'s depot at Poplar, and 
completed the building as a cold store with an entirely new 
refrigerating installation, thus adding to the importance of the 
company in its relation to the service for the Central Markets 
by having a dock and receiving depot upon the river entirely 
at its command. From this depot at Poplar specially con- 
structed insulated motor vans reach the market stores in one 
hour. The new building in Charterhouse Street facing the 
poultry section of the markets was acquired in 1905. These 


efficiently equipped stores together form an important part 
of the London cold storage system, more particularly in 
relation to the business of the London Central Markets, as 
they are actually a part of the market structure. The same 
company has recently acquired depots at Liverpool (two), 
Nottingham, and Chesterfield. Its stores have a capacity of 
about 600,000 carcasses. Mr. J. H. Geddes was the leading 
spirit in the organization of these stores, and he remained 
managing director of the company till his death in 1908, 
Mr. William Hawkins succeeding him in that position. 

Nelson Brothers' Stores and Depot. 

Messrs. Nelson Brothers, who had been using the dock stores 
in London for their importations of frozen meat up to 1885, in 
that year opened what might be called the third of the three 
pioneer cold stores, in the arches under Cannon Street Railway 
Station, and the effect of this was to lower charges for storage 
of meat. The Tyser Line from New Zealand to London started 
its refrigerated traffic two years later, and the competition 
set up reduced freight charges. Little experience in cold 
store construction was available in those days, and the efforts 
of architects and builders in this connection were accordingly 
crude. The following description of Nelson Brothers' early 
cold store is interesting. Under Cannon Street Station there 
was a central arch extending from Thames Street to the river, 
and from it other arches ran at right angles. From the central 
arch as a corridor the other arches were closed in and insulated. 
The door in the centre of each arch had a trapdoor through 
which carcasses were passed into the chamber, and through 
which they were delivered, the main door hardly ever being 
opened. At the river end of the central arch was a landing 
platform, alongside which barges from the docks were unloaded ; 
the carcasses were passed up by hand into trucks and run along 
a tram line to the chambers. At the Thames Street end were 
the loading platform, scales, and offices. Trucks filled at the 
chambers were run up to the weighbridges and loaded into 
market and railway vans for the country. (This store was in 
1898 sold to the Union^Cold Storage Co. and re-modelled.) 


As Messrs. Nelson Brothers found the Thames Street store 
inadequate for their expanding business in one year they had 
handled about one and a quarter million carcasses and 50,000 
quarters of beef the firm opened additional premises, a splendid 
c. .1. 1 store in Commercial Road, Lambeth, in 1892. Sir Frederick 
Bramwell and Mr. H. Graham Harris were the architects, and 
the definite plan on which these stores were constructed was 
that formed by Sir Montague Nelson, whose proposition was 
that the store should be a " gigantic tank " : everything was 
to go in at the top and go out from the top. This idea was 
rigidly adhered to. The " tank " was divided into floors, but 
though it was intended that these floors should extend from 
side to side without divisions, the building regulations of 
London forbade this, and a dividing wall had to be built down 
the centre, cross partitions at intervals dividing each floor into 
several bays with fireproof doors. Even the upper floor, 
intended only for receiving and delivering goods, had to be 
similarly divided, even to the iron doors. The store, exclusive 
of the cost of the freehold, cost 150,000. 

This store was opened for business on March 17, 1892, and 
was, and is, one of the biggest and best-equipped cold store 
warehouses in the world, with a capacity of 250,000 carcasses, 
equal to 750,000 cubic feet. The opening of the establishment 
was one of the features of progress in the 1890 1900 period, 
a time of such great expansion in the frozen meat trade. A 
feature of this riverside store is the system of taking delivery 
from the barges. The elevator is an endless chain running up 
by the side of the building and working between the upper floor 
of the store and the barges down in the bay. The carcasses 
are placed in the cradles of this elevator, which is lowered so 
that its under end is in the barge ; they are then carried by 
hydraulic power to the floor and dropped on to the sorting 
table. When the elevator deposits its frozen carcasses there, 
they are placed in little iron trucks, all of equal weight; 
the trucks are lowered to the chambers and the meat packed 
away. This method is expeditious and cheap, and saves 
handling the meat. The standing instruction to the men at 
Nelson's Wharf is to " handle the carcasses as if they are eggs " ; 

this care, combined with as little handling as possible, saves 
damage and consequent insurance claims. These stores passed 
to the Colonial Consignment and Distributing Company in 

The store at Nelson's Wharf was designed to facilitate the 
company's country business, and the spacious floors are used 
for assembling, packing, and despatching the frozen meats 
distributed throughout the Provinces. Various labour-saving 
appliances are used, notably cutting machines (Nelson-Dicks 
patents), which separate the parts of a sheep swiftly and evenly, 
ready for packing, where joints are required. With regard to 
the Smithfield part of the company's business, the meat is 
conveyed by van to the Central Markets during the night. 
When required for Smithfield the carcasses are repacked 
on the trucks, raised to the delivery floor, passed over a weigh- 
bridge, then on to a lift, and lowered to the loading platform 
and carried into the vans. Two De la Vergne ammonia com- 
pression refrigerating machines and one Haslam cold air 
machine are installed, the Haslam machine, the older plant, 
being used only occasionally. There are nineteen hydraulic 
lifts and hoists and ten miles of refrigerating pipes in the 
buildings. There are five storage floors, each divided into 
three sections, in the arrangement of which the " bay " system 
is used. An idea of the working facilities may be gathered 
from the fact that a cargo of 50,000 carcasses of meat has been 
received and housed in less than four days. To conclude 
reference to the features of the premises, it may be added that 
recently some disused cellars were turned into a miniature rifle 
range, which is very popular with the staff. 

The Union Cold Storage Company's Stores. 

The group of cold stores owned by the Union Cold Storage 
Co., Ltd., is world-wide in its ramifications. There are stores 
at London, Liverpool, Manchester, Hull, Glasgow, as far as the 
United Kingdom is concerned, and in connection with the 
Russian-Siberian butter export business, the Union Co. has 
opened large cold stores at St. Petersburg, Riga, Kosloff, and 


. The combined capacities of the Union Co. 'scold store* 
run into millions of carcasses, and, according to the company's 
statement, would comfortably hold at any time more than a 
year's total shipments of mutton from New Zealand. Indeed 
the Union cold stores grapple with a storing business which is 
by far the largest of anything of this nature in the world a 
notable instance of the pre-eminence of British enterprise. 
Some thousands of tons of ice per week are also manufactured 
by this company. 

There are now about 6,000 shareholders in the Union Cold 
Storage Co., Ltd., and the net earnings work out at the rate 
of 2,000 per annum for every 100,000 carcasses storage 
capacity (say 350,000 cubic feet) of the undertaking, before 
taking into account management, head office expenses, and 
depreciation. The Union cold stores do such a miscellaneous 
business that all the well-known systems of refrigeration are 
employed and the machinery of most of the principal makers 
is used. The capacity of the refrigerating machinery 
installed at the company's various stores exceeds a total 
refrigerating power of 3,000 tons per day of twenty-four 
hours. The company began operations in 1893 in Liverpool ; 
in 1896 their first London store was started, at Blackfriars, 
and by rapid strides, as the result of the closest study of 
all the problems connected with the new industry, the 
Union cold stores grew to their present far-reaching 

Of late years extension of the Union Co.'s enterprise has for 
the most part been abroad, except in the direction of taking 
over existing cold stores in England, which had been erected 
by public authorities and others. Amongst these were, about 
1898, the old cold stores of the Colonial Consignment and 
Distributing Co., under Cannon Street Station, London, E.G., 
and later the cold stores of the North Eastern Railway Co. at 
Hull and the cold stores of the Scottish Cold Storage and Ice 
Co., Ltd., at Glasgow. During 1910 the Union Co. acquired 
the large cold stores and ice factory on the Albert Dock 
belonging to the Liverpool Riverside Cold Storage Co., Ltd. ; 
this had been run by a group of local merchants, who after 


more than ten years had grown weary of contributing to its 
running expenses without receiving dividends. 

Other Cold Stores : London and Country. 

To the above account of the growth of public cold storage 
in London there should, to make complete the reference to 
London cold stores, be added mention of the large stores 
owned by the several meat importing companies, e.g., Borth- 
wick's, Eastman's, James Nelson and Sons, the River Plate Fresh 
Meat Co., and Sansinena's. But this chapter has in detail 
treated alone of cold storage erected for the use of the public. 

It is evident that competition in the public cold store business 
is running fiercely nowadays, and that in the big centres of 
population where this competition exists, only those cold 
storage enterprises which are erected, equipped, and managed 
on the most modern lines and in the most businesslike way can 
be successful commercially. 

The meat trade has been mainly responsible for the growth 
of public cold storage in the various towns throughout the 
Kingdom, though in most cases the public store owner is open 
to receive other produce than meat. There are now over 
a hundred towns provided with public cold storage, and about 
one hundred and seventy public cold stores in these centres, 
establishments of a capacity from one or two thousand up to two 
million cubic feet, which is the total capacity of the stores at 
Southampton of the International Cold Storage and Ice Co., 
Ltd., the biggest cold store in Europe. Although in the 
majority of cases the stores are controlled by proprietors or 
companies trading in this business alone, a considerable number 
of the stores are owned by individual traders or trading 
companies carrying on business as merchants and making the 
provision of refrigerated accommodation for others an auxiliary 
to their business. Thirteen towns have municipal cold storage. 


IT will have been seen from the previous chapter that the 
cold storage industry which has been built upon the modern 
development of the refrigerated produce trade is a great and 
complex undertaking. Some explanation of the various 
features of its operative customs will be of service in the present 
chapter, as on the working of the cold store depends to a large 
extent the success of the frozen meat industry. 

Periods of Storage. 

With regard to the cold stores at the ports of debarkation, for 
it is with those establishments that this chapter deals, space is 
usually arranged for at the stores before the arrival of the vessel, 
and in London the storage charge on frozen meat begins from 
the time the steamer breaks bulk with her meat cargo. The 
object of icvery consignee is to take delivery of his meat within 
the first month. Speaking roughly, perhaps 75 per cent, of 
the frozen meat in the London cold stores is marketed within 
the month. At any rate, it changes hands within that period, 
but this question is solved according to the state of the market ; 
at times meat is held as long as six months, and even more, and 
nine months' storage is not unknown. Though frozen meat 
loses its bloom and also weight through long storage, it may be 
marketed in fairly sound condition even after such lengthened 
storage. There was a case fifteen years ago of 10,000 Canter- 
bury lambs being " bottled up " for six months as a market 
speculation. The carcasses were locked up in a chamber, the 
doors of which were not opened. The meat stood the ordeal 
well, and a profitable deal was made. In April, 1909, a consign- 
ment of New Zealand sheep, 23,000, was put into one of the 
London stores in one lot ; the carcasses were taken out in the 


following September in first-rate condition. Such procedure, 
however, is risky, the ordinary experience being that six 
months' freezing makes frozen carcasses bleach. The general 
question as to how long frozen meats may be kept in cold 
store, with regard to loss of quality and appearance, and the 
structural and other changes which take place, is one for 
scientific men and trade experts. Experiments, mainly in 
poultry, have been made hi England, Australasia, and America ; 
essays and articles without number have been penned, yet 
there is still to seek a statement sufficiently clear for the non- 
scientific mind to grasp and explicit enough to use as a guide 
for business men. 

Reaching the Store. 

Much, of course, depends upon the conditions attending the 
actual transit of meat to the cold stores. In the case of up- 
town stores, that is, the refrigerating warehouses other than 
those connected with the docks, transit is made by insulated 
lighters to the stores situated on the riverside, and by insulated 
lighters and vans to those situated inland. The principal 
dock stores of London are situated in the Victoria and Albert 
Docks, and have working capacities equivalent to 552,000 
sheep. So far as concerns the stores in the Victoria and Albert 
Docks, some of the meat is conveyed thither by insulated 
lighters from the Tilbury Docks, but the bulk is received from 
steamers discharged in the docks. The principal railways 
run alongside these stores, and meat is delivered direct to 
railway wagons for distribution in the provinces. Delivery 
is also made at night for the market, but as these stores are 
situated at a considerable distance from Smithfield, orders 
must be given some hours beforehand, so as to allow time for 
conveyance and delivery into the market. The inconvenience 
experienced in these arrangements led to the construction of the 
West Smithfield stores belonging to the Port Authority, which 
have a capacity of 95,000 carcasses (they are to be supplemented 
by another store in the vicinity of a capacity of 84,000 car- 
casses), and, being adjacent to the market, permit of delivery 


being obtained at call. Conveyance to the West Smithfield 
stores is usually made direct from steamers by insulated vans. 
The owners of the meat decide on the arrival of the steamers 
the stores into which they require their shipments placed, and, 
of course, they are guided to some extent by the probable dis- 
posal of the meat. There are also stores in the West India and 
Surrey Commercial Docks. 

The large white insulated vans that convey the frozen meat 
to Smithfield's portals hold about 120 sheep ; the ordinary 
river barges take from 1,000 to 1,200 sheep, but some will take 
considerably more. Meat is not usually weighed on delivery 
to the store, but when it is sent out, and there is occasionally 
an intermediate " weighing over " for the convenience of the 
customer. On meat being received at the store, the first thing 
to do is to stow it according to marks, readily accessible for 


About sixteen years ago the " multiplicity of marks " 
trouble became acute ; the storekeeper was asked to keep 
separate the various small lots of carcasses represented by the 
sub-marks 50 sheep, five sheep, and so on. The separation of 
these lots involved an enormous waste of storage space, and, to 
meet the difficulty, a line was drawn at 100 carcasses, or 400 
pieces of mutton or lamb, such as haunches, legs, and shoulders, 
as a minimum. Any parcel under 100 carcasses or 400 pieces 
was, and is now, charged one-third additional. Say, for example, 
the charges under the (old) management rate of 20s. tod. a ton for 
twenty-eight days for some rent on 50 sheep amount at the 
usual rates to 2 6s. The parcel would be charged one-third 
extra, or 3, and so on, and the same practice for the same reason 
has recently been extended to beef, the line being drawn at a 
pile of 30 quarters. 

If several sub-marks belong to one consignee, he may have 
them piled together, in order to avoid the one-third extra 
charge, but the marks would be mixed, and would be delivered 
as they " rose from the pile." 

Frozen beef is piled in store similarly to mutton and lamb. 
Chilled beef, which is hung on hooks, is sent to the cold stores 


to a far less extent than frozen beef, but with the greatly 
increased importation of chilled beef from South America 
the need for chilled, as opposed to frozen, storage has increased. 
The chilled beef steamers are used as stores until the 
balances of the shipments have to be cleared, according to the 
state of the market. There are chambers for chilled beef at 
the Victoria Dock stores, which have recently been increased 
from a capacity of 1,000 to about 4,000 quarters. 

Cold Storage Rates. 

Like all the other charges in the frozen meat cycle, the cold 
store rates have fallen considerably from the original fd. per Ib. 
per 28 days hi the very early days of cold storage. Accord- 
ing to a schedule issued by the docks store in November, 1883, 
the charges were as follow : 

Receiving from ship, conveying to stores, rent for one week 
and delivery was 

Rent per week or part of 
a week after one week. 

When a parcel consisted of less than 1,000 carcasses : 
For the first 400 or less 
On all between 400 and 1,000 

When a parcel consisted of 1,000 carcasses or more : 
For the first 1,000 
On all between 1,000 and 2,000 
On all in excess of 2,000 

Per Ib. 

Per Ib. 


^d. \ For any portion of 
fad. / the consignment. 

Several conditions as to minimum charges were set out. In 
July, 1884, the docks store rate was fixed at Sd. per carcass for 
storage for forty-eight hours from breaking bulk ; " when 
several marks are imported in the same ship," 9d. ; rent after 
forty-eight hours, l|d. per cwt. per day. Weighing, " if 
required," was charged for at |rf. per carcass. In March, 1891, 
the " management rate," $d. per Ib. (20s. 9d. per ton), came 
into force, and practically no change, except the application 
of the one- third additional charge, as already explained, 
has taken place in twenty years. 1 After twenty-eight days' 
storage the rent is now fd. per cwt. per day, but with the 
proviso that the rent to be charged never exceeds ^d. per Ib. 

1 This chapter was written before the labour troubles, and the rise in wages 
which followed in 1911 caused an increase in the 20s. 9d. management rate. It is 
possible that in 1912 the question of cold storage charges at the docks will be revised. 


for any period of twenty-eight days on the gross weight in 
store on the first day of such period. This charge prevails at 
all tho London public cold stores. The warehouse keeper is 
hi MI i id to cover himself by making a substantial charge for the 
first month, even though the meat may only stay in store for a 
day, for he has to pay conveying from ship to store and various 
other items. The competition which brought about that reduc- 
tion in 1891 in the London cold storage rates (we have seen the 
same force at work in the freezing and shipping charges) seems to 
have ceased at least so far as the occurrence of further reduc- 
tions is concerned with the establishment of the existing 
" management rate." Up to 1898 demand for cold storage was 
greater than the supply, but in that year cold storage space got 
ahead of requirements. A " combine," or working arrange- 
ment of some sort, was arranged between the London stores in 
1899, and under this the proprietors have, except for a short 
period in 1906, been able to prevent the $d. per Ib. being reduced, 
and in this respect all the cold stores are worked on the same 
lines. There was a breakdown of the London " combine " at 
the beginning of 1906, and until a fresh arrangement was made, 
after three months of civil war, there was a period of severe rate 
cutting ; goods were accepted at as low as 10s. a ton. It is 
obvious that, from a proprietor's point of view, the public cold 
stores of London lend themselves to combined management to 
prevent ruinous cutting of rates. 

Cold Store Dividends. 

The cold storage industry is one of many ups and downs, a 
feast or famine business. In some seasons the stores are used 
mainly as depositories for frozen meat for a day or two or a 
week or two before marketing ; in others, great quantities of 
meat are " bottled up " for months, and the stores become 
congested. About the beginning of the nineties cold storage 
was a paying business. During the previous decade the frozen 
meat trade developed heavily in supplies, with frequent 
seasons when the market was unable to absorb shipments as 
they came along. On the whole, however, only modest divi- 
dends have been earned in the cold storage business. The 

F.M. u 


average ordinary dividend for 1909 of twenty of the principal 
cold storage companies in the United Kingdom was slightly 
over 5 per cent., and would have been appreciably lower than 
this, did the calculation not include three particularly successful 
concerns whose ordinary dividend averaged 15 per cent. The 
business of ice manufacture was also included in most of the 
companies whose dividends formed the basis of this calcula- 
tion. The largest stores of all, those of the Port Authority of 
London, are not, however, included, because no separate 
returns of this department of its undertaking are issued by 
the Authority. 

In 1888 the cold storage space available in London and Liver- 
pool was only equal to the accommodation of 400,000 carcasses, 
and in 1894 London's cold stores could only hold 500,000. 
From that date cold store construction went ahead rapidly. 
In 1895 the capacity of the cold stores of London was equal to 
1,000,000 carcasses, in 1900 to 1,648,000 carcasses, in 1905 to 
2,631,500 carcasses, in 1911 to 2,840,000 carcasses. Readers 
consulting Appendix V will observe that the available storage 
space at the chief ports of Great Britain, other than London, 
is equal to accommodating 5,124,500 carcasses. For the last 
ten years or so storage space has been readily obtainable in 
London, with the exception of 1909, a year of low values and 
heavy storage, when for some weeks the stores were congested ; 
for four or five days in August they were absolutely full. 

The chief problem which a cold store proprietor has to solve 
is how to keep his store as full of produce as possible. (In these 
remarks only the frozen meat department of the business is dealt 
with, but, of course, there are many other kinds of perishable 
merchandise, stored at varying temperatures.) One reason 
why the cold storage proprietor likes to have his chambers 
full of frozen produce is because of the assistance rendered by 
the goods in keeping down temperatures ; a half-full store 
requires more engine power than does a full one. 

Responsibilities and Risks. 

One might have expected, with the advance of cold storage to 
a position of considerable importance among the mercantile 


industries of the United Kingdom, especially in London, 
tint some legislation would have accompanied the move- 
ment. A good many nice questions must arise, but 
apparently all matters causing friction between cold store 
customer and warehouse keeper are settled in accordance with 
the customs of the trade that have gradually encrusted round 
t In- industry. It is assumed that cold stores come in a general 
way under the Warehouseman's Acts, and legal proceedings 
concerning the responsibilities of proprietors would be entered 
under common law. The custom of "general lien," whereby, in 
the event of non-payment of cold storage charges, a cold store 
owner has legal claim on goods held (i.e., all goods held by the 
same customer, and not merely on the specific goods in 
respect of which charges are due), was formally established 
in the cold storage industry in 1902 by the Cold Storage and 
Ice Association, this society taking the necessary steps by 
public resolution and advertisement. 

What are the responsibilities to his client of the cold store 
proprietor ? They may possibly be summed up as follow. 
His stores are inspected by the underwriter's surveyors, 
and, if passed, are certificated as " approved." All the 
resources of modern science are drawn upon in the construction 
of the buildings and the installations of plant and appliances, 
and a skilled and efficient staff is provided to work the business. 
The meat while in course of being put into store is externally 
inspected, while here and there a shirt is cut for making an 
internal inspection, and any imperfections seen are recorded 
and the owners informed of them in the " landing account," 
or earlier if necessary. The cold store does not hold itself 
responsible for any loss of condition which may take place in 
meat warehoused. The proprietor provides cold air at about 
18 F. in the case of frozen meat and he keeps temperature 
logs day and night. If he delivers the goods for which he has 
L'ivm a clean receipt, he says that by taking reasonable care 
he has done all that can be expected of him. Any damage 
to meat in store is the merchant's or his underwriter's, not 
the warehouse keeper's, concern. Of course, if too high 
temperatures were proved to be due to neglect, that would 

N 2 


be a different matter, but the ordinary gradual depreciation 
in the condition of meat accompanying storage cannot be 
insured against after sixty days. 

Meat in store is covered by the marine policy current for 
thirty days, occasionally for sixty, and before this runs out the 
underwriter's surveyor has inspected the meat, and any allow- 
ances for damage have been agreed upon. The only other 
store risks against which the owner of the meat can then insure 
are " fire " and " breakdown of machinery." The exact 
situation is stated in the following paragraph from the docks 
cold store tariff : " The Port Authority will not hold themselves 
responsible for the condition of the meat stored with them, 
nor for any loss which may be sustained through failure of 
machinery or otherwise. But they will render all assistance 
in their power in the investigation of any question which may 
be raised, provided that the meat is not removed from the 
stores, and the investigation takes place on the same day as 
that on which the question is raised, or at the latest on the 
following working day." 

To continue this part of the subject in some detail, it may 
be useful to give the clauses printed on the receipt form of one 
of the London cold store companies : 

1. The Company will use every endeavour to keep the goods in sound condition, 
but will not be responsible for loss or damage to goods stored, through maintaining 
too high or too low a temperature in the stores, failure of machinery or plant, fire, 
vermin, or any other cause whatsoever other than theft. In case of fire, storage is 
payable to date. 

2. Goods are only received subject to a general lien for all charges accrued and 
accruing against the storer, and if not removed after seven days' notice has been 
given to the storer, or sent by post to his last known address, may be sold to defray 
the lien and all expenses incurred. 

3. Transfers are allowed subject to a general lien on the goods transferred for 
all sums due from the original storer. 

4. Where the Company do cartage, it is understood they are not liable for any 
loss or damage which can be covered by Insurance, and those interested, in taking 
out Policy, must effect same without recourse, as the Company do not accept 
responsibility for insurable risks. 

5. The Company will not be answerable for any delay, loss or damage arising 
from combinations or strikes of any persons in their employ or in the service of 
others, nor for any consequences arising therefrom. 

6. The Company has the right to remove from the premises, if necessary with- 
out notice, any goods found to be of an offensive nature, or such as will damage 


other good* in the tore, and hai the right to remove good* to other cold tores, if 
for any reaatm they find it advisable. 
7. Content* of package, and condition, unknown. 

Working all Round the Clock. 

One of the storekeeper's responsibilities to his clients in the 
ordinary way of business is the delivery and weighing of goods 
of specified brand at any hour, day or night. Sometimes 
notice is sent, but the storekeeper has to work all round the 
clock and hold himself in readiness to deliver meat on demand. 
There is no form of agreement between the storer and the 
storekeeper defining the responsibilities of the latter in this 
and other respects ; custom controls the matter. The public 
cold-storekeeper is the weighing authority ; thousands of sales 
are made on the storekeeper's weights, which in ordinary 
business transactions are regarded as final. 

In connection with the numerous parcels held in store, 
surveys are of daily occurrence, and facilities are provided by 
the proprietors, inspection chamber accommodation in some 
cases being provided, for which a charge is made. By this 
inspection is meant the examination which is nowadays almost 
invariably made under the marine policy. In the noteworthy 
case of Kidman v. Blofeld and Lisenden, tried in 1903, the plain- 
tiff sought to show that it was customary in the trade for holders 
of meat in cold stores, whether as principals or agents, to have 
the goods " inspected from time to time with the view of ascer- 
taining their condition." In this case the meat in question 
was seriously depreciating in value while being held in store 
for a market by the shipper's instructions. The judge found that 
the alleged practice of periodical inspections was not made out. 

The satisfactory condition of frozen meat as delivered at 
Smithfield or elsewhere from the London cold stores, and, 
indeed, from the well-managed public cold stores to be met with 
in all parts of the United Kingdom, speaks well for the system 
and management of these establishments. The keen com- 
petition between the stores and the close observation by 
importers' and underwriters' surveyors combine to produce 
excellent results. 



THE London Central Markets, from that fateful day in Feb- 
ruary, 1880, when the 40 tons of frozen meat ex Strathleven 
were sold at 5\d. per Ib. to the present time, when 250,000 
tons of chilled and frozen meat are handled annually at the 
salesmen's stalls, have played an all-important part in the rise 
of the frozen meat industry. Smithfield has been the arbiter 
whose verdict the farmers, graziers, and estancieros of the 
lands in the South have awaited with expectant and anxious 
feelings. But the response of the great London market was 
never in doubt. Whilst the producers of frozen meat have 
been able to build up an immense trade with the co-operation 
of Smithfield, the salesmen were quick to perceive what bound- 
less possibilities were opened up to them with the coming of the 
refrigerator and the transport of the sheep and cattle in frozen 
form from the Australian runs. So they welcomed the Strath- 
leven's cargo and the meat from New Zealand and Argentina 
as it came along in 1882 and 1883. 

For the last thirty years Smithfield has taken the frozen 
meat trade under its wing, and, the greatest of markets in the 
greatest of cities, has impressed the imagination of the Austra- 
lian and New Zealand meat exporters to a remarkable extent. 
No institution connected with the realization of merchandise 
has been so much discussed and keenly criticized by its sup- 
porters as has Smithfield. " Smithfield scandals," " Smithfield 
rings," " Smithfield practices " these and other topics of like 
nature have furnished interesting material for the newspapers 
and public speakers 10,000 miles away full many a time and 
oft. The relations of the great market and its customers have 
provided frequently cause for friction, and Smithfield itself 
often comments, in no gentle tones, upon the methods of her 


! * 









!* * ^"* 

= 5 


Australasian and American suppliers. But criticism and 
recrimination have never stayed the sailings of merchant 
vessels laden with the frozen carcasses, nor checked the return 
flow of British money into the hands of the sheep and cattle 
kings of the southern hemisphere ; the producer in Austral- 
asia and the salesman at Smithfield are necessary to each 

From the tentative transactions of 1879 1880 Smithfield has 
moulded, as to marketing methods, the frozen meat trade, 
limb by limb and feature by feature ; and in the process has 
itself vastly changed and developed. For instance, though for 
years the frozen meat trade at Smithfield was in the hands of 
a few salesmen and jobbers, now not less than 200 parties 
c.i.f. men, jobbers, agents, etc. out of the 340 tenants are 
engaged in this branch of the market's business, and their 
number is constantly on the increase. Moreover, the large 
proportion of about 50 per cent, of the meat handled by the 
great multiple meat shop concerns is frozen, and, as a matter 
of fact, does not pass through Smithfield at all. First, the few 
hundred carcasses sent from Australia as an experiment to 
commission salesmen, then the regular marketing of large 
quantities from the three great producing countries through 
the agency of distributing firms and companies, handled 
in a systematic way, and later the 'evolution of the c.i.f. 
trade, enabling the multiple retail shop owner to cover him- 
self for six months ahead Smithfield has participated in all 
these eventful developments. All the problems of the trade 
virtually take their rise in the London Central Markets, in the 
avenues of which one sees visitors from the Americas and the 
great lands of the Southern Seas. The New Zealand farmer 
shipping frozen meat regards Smithfield as his Mecca, and is 
not always content with one brief pilgrimage. The London 
Central Markets receive Russian Princes, English Secretaries 
of State, and Australian Prime Ministers, as occasional visitors, 
ami the " porters' band " wielding knives and cleavers gives 
them musical honours. The " Tall Hat Brigade " is on duty 
soon after 9 a.m., gentlemen peregrinating the market avenues, 
engaged in a quest for business, or for information concerning 


the frozen meat trade. The more legitimate frequenters of 
Smithfield are buyers (wholesale dealers, butchers, retailers, 
restaurant and hotel proprietors), and, of course, the importers 
and agents. 

To some degree Smithfield has lost its importance of late 
years. In the hope of bettering distribution, the Americans, and 
some of the distributing firms handling frozen meat, established 
depots at Croydon, Kingston, Richmond, Reading, Brighton, 
Bournemouth, etc., and at these depots meat is sold that 
would have been formerly handled at Smithfield. In the pro- 
cess of decentralization which is being applied to the frozen 
meat trade the London Central Markets suffer severely, and, 
instead of accompanying this great industry in its rise, Smith- 
field, as far as the proportion of its pitchings to the total frozen 
meat trade of the Kingdom is concerned, is not advancing. 
Importers sell ex store or ex ship considerable quantities of 
frozen meat which formerly would have been brought into the 
market, and the purlieus of Smithfield are dotted with the 
offices of importers' firms whose interests to a great extent are 
interdependent with that of the Central Markets. Changed 
methods of business, the development of c.i.f. and ex store 
buying by the large meat retailers, direct shipping to outports, 
and sundry other influences, have checked the volume of 
imported chilled and frozen meat passing through Smithfield 
from keeping pace with the total trade in frozen and chilled 
meat. Although the markets' total operations have increased, 
the percentage of the total imports of these meats marketed at 
Smithfield has steadily fallen from 65' 7 in 18821886 the 
beginning of the frozen meat era to 41 in 1910. The managers 
of the markets are sore about this, and regret to find that 
Smithfield's distributive area is now practically confined to 
the metropolis. In former days its area reached as far as 
Birmingham, and salesmen now in Smithfield could tell us 
that they have supplied customers in Edinburgh. Nowadays 
much more meat comes to London from the country than goes 
from Smithfield to the Provinces. Australasia has not been 
faithful to Smithfield. North and South America have 
defaulted too. Grouping together the last two sources of 

t .fl, . ! <|.' 




V. ;> 

i \ ?s. ^ 

-" . -^. T - 


supply, in 1881 their ratio per cent, of meat marketed at 
Smithfield to the total importations into the United Kingdom 
was 68 ; in 1010 it was 40 per cent. The above decrease*! 
must not be taken in any way to indicate a smaller amount 
of meat marketed at Smithfield, but only a smaller ratio to 
the total imports into Great Britain. 

But, speaking of quite recent times, it is doubtful if Smith - 
field has been losing ground even in ratio to the total imports 
into Great Britain, when one regards the volume of South 
American chilled beef brought to the London Central Markets 
vid Southampton. The shipping development of this chilled 
beef trade of the Nelson and Royal Mail Company's lines 
probably has also been instrumental in causing a relative 
increase in the South American trade done in London during 
the last few years as well as a decrease in the provincial 

Old Smithfield. 

But before proceeding farther, it is better to revert to the 
beginnings of things. No part of London has a greater wealth 
of tradition attaching to it than has Smithfield and its surround- 
ings " Smooth field " it was termed in the medieval days 
when Bartholomew Fair was held there, when tournaments 
took place and duels were fought. In the days of Mary and 
Elizabeth, Catholics and Protestants burnt each other by turn 
at Smithfield. It was the place for public executions before 
Tyburn became fashionable. As a market for horses, and live 
stock for killing, we hear of Smithfield in 1150. Billingsgate 
was selling fish, by the way, 1,000 years ago. Smithfield 
market in 1253 was the property of the Corporation, and 
Edward III. covenanted by charter with the City of London 
not to grant permission to other parties to set up a market 
within a radius of seven miles from the City. The erection of 
markets was the King's prerogative. In those times the market 
price of food was regulated by the City authorities ; in 1533 it 
was enacted that butchers should sell their beef not above a 
halfpenny a pound and mutton three farthings, " which act 


being devised for the great commodity of the Realm " (as it 
was then thought), " hath since proved far otherwise, for before 
that time a fat ox was sold at London for six and twenty 
shillings and eightpence at the most, a fat wether for three 
shillings and fourpence, a fat calf the like price, a fat lamb for 
twelvepence ; pieces of beef weighing 2| Ib. at the least, yea, 
3 Ib. or better, for a penny on every butcher's stall in this City, 
and of those fat pieces of beef thirteen or fourteen for twelve- 
pence, fat mutton for eightpence the quarter, and one cwt. of 
beef for four shillings and eightpence at the dearest.'' There 
were then 120 butchers in the City and suburbs, and of these 
every one killed six oxen a week, " which is in forty-six weeks 
33,120 oxen, or 720 weekly." The foreign butchers for a long 
time stood in the High Street of Lime Street Ward on the north 
side twice every week viz., Wednesday and Saturday " and 
were some gain to the tenants before whose doors they stood, 
and into whose houses they set their blocks and stalls ; but 
that advantage being espied they were taken into Leadenhall, 
there to pay for their standing to the Chamber of London." 
These references are from Stow's " Survey of London." In 
1631 a writer, Howes, gives " Ruffians' Hall " as a cant name 
for West Smithfield, on account of its being " the usuall place 
of frayes and common fighting during the time that sword and 
buckler were in use." The Corporation appear to have claimed 
market tolls in the fifteenth century. One of the features of 
the riotous St. Bartholomew's Fair was the enormous sale of 
roast pork, and beef sausages came into fashion in 1750, at 
about which time it is noted that the average weight of oxen 
was 370 Ibs., and of sheep 28 Ibs. The Fair was closed in 
1830 ; the Corporation bought the Bartholomew Priory rights 
in 1850. Smithfield was then the market for live stock ; and 
the dead meat mart was at Newgate Market, which was 
close by. 

Smithfield Market in 1853. 

An article in the Quarterly Review, June, 1854, " The London 
Commissariat," by Dr. Andrew Wynter, presents the live 



stock market of Smithfield very vividly, and the following 
extract is made : 

What they do MO in reality, if they have courage to wend their way along any of 
the tumble-down street* approaching to Smithfield, which the great fire unfor- 
tunately spared, is an irregular space bounded by dirty houses and the ragged 
party walls of demolished habitations, which give it the appearance of the site of a 
recent conflagration the whole space comprising just six acres, fifteen perches, 
roads and public thorough! ares included. . . . Thanks to the common sense which 
has at length lifted up its potential voice, the days of Smithfield are numbered, and 
those who wish to see this enormous aggregation of edible quadrupeds bcfr< ii 
takes its departure to its spacious new abode at Copenhagen Fields raunt not delay 
the visit much longer. The best time is early in the morning say, one or two o'clock 
of the "great day," as the last market before Christmas-day is called. On this 
occasion, not only the space calculated to hold 4,100 oxen and 30,000 sheep, besides 
calves snd pigs is crammed, but the approaches around it overflow with live stock 
for many hundred feet, and sometimes the cattle are seen blocking up the passage as 
far as 8t Sepulchre's church. . . . The meat itself suffers in quality, for anything 
like fright or passion is well known to affect the blood, and consequently the flesh. 
Beasts subjected to such disturbances will often turn green within twenty-four 
hours after death. 

The same writer, after careful examination of all the sources 
of supply, gives the following estimate in those days there were 
no exact statistics of the butchers' meat consumed by the 
2,500,000 people who formed the population of the capital in 
1853. Dr. Wynter values these marketing stock at 14,000,000. 





ite Meat Market 
Leaden hall Meat Market . 

Live stock brought to London . 

Total supply of live stock and meat to 
London in 1853 .... 














1 :,'.'."-:' 

These animals were brought from the neighbourhood of 
London, the country parts of England, Scotland, Ireland, 
and the Continent, and were handled partly at the markets and 
partly by the carcass butchers throughout the metropolis. 


Smithfield Market and its Supplies. 

The whole district is rich with material for the tourist and 
antiquarian ; the site of St. Bartholomew's Priory on the 
south and the Carthusian Monastery on the north are hard by 
the present markets. Shakespeare wrote of Smithfield, and 
Dickens's Nicholas Nickleby reposed in this neighbourhood, 
at the Saracen's Head, which hostelry is still in existence. As 
a popular encyclopaedia puts it, Smithfield of old " was avail- 
able for jousts, tournaments, executions, and burnings." 
Tremendous congestion prevailed in these districts, which were 
filthy and criminal beyond description, and in 1851 a Royal 
Commission was appointed to report as to what should be done. 
A scheme was adopted under which the live stock markets and 
slaughter-houses were taken away to Islington and Deptford, 
and the new London Central Markets, the largest dead mart 
in the world, were opened in December, 1868, for the sale of 
meat, poultry, and provisions. The centre of " Old Smithfield " 
is now laid out with an ornamental garden and fountains. 

The first part of the Central Markets was a huge 
parallelogram covering 3| acres, with 162 shops. The 
market was a success from the start, and was soon followed by 
the erection of the poultry section, opened in December, 1875. 
In 1879 the fruit and vegetable market was begun, to be 
followed by the fish market, now termed the Smithfield Market 
Annexe and used as a meat section. Last, but not least, the 
extension, which is now entirely given up to frozen and chilled 
meat, was opened in 1889 for general trade. The western- 
most section of Smithfield was nicknamed the " Japanese 
Village " because of the somewhat Japanese style of the 
original decorations. 

The London Central Markets as a whole now occupy about 
ten acres ; the main building, bounded by Long Lane on the 
south and Charterhouse Street on the north, stretches 600 
feet east and west by 240 feet north and south. The building 
is in the Italian style with Mansard glass louvre roof ; the 
central avenue is 27 feet wide, and there are six side avenues. 
Each shop is about 36 feet by 15 feet, and behind every shop 


><i<* p. 188 


Is an enclosed counting-house with offices above. The markets 
are strictly wholesale, except on Saturday evenings, when a 
few of the employees conduct a retail " People's Market." 
Th TO are at present 340 tenants holding 344 holdings and 
giving employment to about 5,000 persons. The toll (2a. 3d. 
m) on meat, etc., in 1910 came to 46,616, and the stall 
rents to 81,448. The total capital expended on the markets 
by the Corporation to 1909 exceeded 2,000,000. 

The growth of Smithfield Market, which means the growth 
of the imported meat movement, is seen at a glance in the 
following table, extracted from the annual report of the 
Superintendent of the Market, Mr. H. W. G. Millman : 

Origin or sources of supplies in Urms per cent. 

Imported production! , Chilled or 


Weight of 

" English 
killed* and 



and South 
Chill*! and 

1 -'! >. 

i ; DM u . 

1': ' .::. 







































The average daily pitchings of meat at the Central Markets 
during 1910 were 24,000 mutton and lamb carcasses, 2,700 
quarters of beef, and 2,500 pork carcasses. 

An exceedingly interesting chapter of Smithfield's history 
is opened up when we examine the effect produced upon the 
great Central Markets by the coming of chilled and then frozen 
meat. For the five years prior to the Strathleven's arrival, 
meat produced in the United Kingdom was 86 per cent, of the 
whole quantity marketed at Smithfield ; the 14 per cent, 
imported had grown to 70-4 in 1910. This drop of 56 per 
cent, in the proportion of home supplies in the thirty years has, 
of course, involved a complete change in the methods of the 


market. (It must be noted that these percentages of home 
and imported meat supplies apply to London only. For the 
country as a whole the figures are, approximately, for beef and 
mutton : home produced, 63'5 per cent. ; imported, 36*5 per 
cent., equal to 88'7 Ibs. per head of the population per annum.) 
When frozen meat first appeared, the small quantity of meat 
imported was refrigerated American beef and Dutch and 
French meat ; there were large consignments from France of 
all sorts, calves, sheep, etc., and the beef was of very good 
quality. In country districts frozen meat has satisfied a 
newly-created want, but in London it has by its excellence 
and cheapness, and its appeal to the seven million consumers 
within twenty miles radius of Smithfield been gradually 
supplanting other kinds of meat. 

By about 1883 frozen meat had become so important on the 
Central Markets that the Corporation had to make special 
provision for it, but even then that body failed to grasp 
how indispensable an auxiliary cold storage would prove 
to be to the meat trade and the market hence it missed 
its finest opportunity of becoming the cold storage authority 
within the area of its market rights. The market sales- 
men took the incoming of the Australasian and Argentine 
meat with great calmness ; gradually more discrimination 
was exercised as to quality, brands, etc., as frozen meat 
became a force at Smithfield. The more enterprising of 
the salesmen of the markets opened their arms gladly 
to the produce of the South ; many firms saw the potenti- 
alities that lay in the new business, took it up on a proper 
scale, and did well. At first only a few salesmen went into 
the business, but by degrees frozen meat penetrated farther 
and farther, and now it has conquered nearly the whole market 
and has become absolutely necessary to the majority of the 

The American Invasion. 

This may be a fitting place to write of the American invasion 
of Smithfield and what came of it. Mr. T. C. Eastman was 


the shipper, from New York in October, 1875, of the first lot 

of Am. nr.m chilled beef to this country, and he must have due 
credit for this pioneer enterprise. A baron of that beef was sent 
to Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle, and Eastmans, Ltd., have 
the Royal Seal in connection with that transaction. The 
Queen pronounced the meat to be " very good." The shippers 
of this early American chilled beef included Toffee Brothers, 
(iillctte (Jersey City), Martin Fuller (Philadelphia), and 
Sherman (Philadelphia). This beef was stitched up in canvas 
and was hung in the ships' chambers, which were kept at a 
reduced temperature by the use of ice. Mr. J. D. Link acted 
as agent for Mr. Eastman up to the time when Messrs. John 
Bell and Sons took over the agency. 

Prior to the beginning of the chilled beef trade small quan- 
t it iis of beef, hard frozen, arrived at Smithfield from the United 
States ; hindquarters arrived in long boxes, " as hard as a 
stone," but bright and in good condition. The frozen beef 
made about 2$d. to 3d. per Ib. it was mostly hindquarters. 
English beef in 1874 was making 9d. a Ib., and probably this 
price tempted the Americans. Quite inconsiderable in volume, 
and negligible as a market factor, was this early frozen beef 
from North America. Of course, it was frozen by ice and 
salt mixture. The American chilled beef when it first 
came was very large from four-year-old cattle. For years 
the American meat did not affect prices to any degree 
in the Central Markets it was a " little outside trade." After 
1880 the chilled beef became important, but the wonderful 
jump forward was in the decade 1888 1897, when both chilled 
and frozen meat took up a commanding position in Smithfield 
supplies. The quality of the chilled beef from North America 
was so good that it forced itself into general use. 

When the goods first came to Smithfield, and for many years 
-wards, they were handled by salesmen on commission. 
At length there came a time when the Americans said, "Why 
should we not sell for ourselves ? " So they acquired various 
stalls in the Grand Avenue, paying heavy sums for the goodwill. 
It is only fair to say that the American firms themselves state 
that one reason which led them to market their own beef was 


that they did not " get a very square deal with some of the 
Smithfield salesmen." There were difficulties between the 
American importers and some of their salesmen. At any rate, 
the former made up their minds to sell their own meat. It is 
on record that the Morris Beef Co., which has three shops, paid 
for the goodwill of one, the stall which belonged to Mr. Edward 
Poole, 16,000, 11,500 for another, the Venables stall, and 
12,500 for the third, the one acquired from Messrs. Jennings. 
The Hammond Beef Co. has two stalls on the market ; Armours 
hold four stalls. By the " Combinations in the Meat Trade " 
Commission it was put to Mr. Woodruff that Swifts (who hold 
six shops at Smithfield) in 1901 paid 12,000 for the goodwill 
of one of the stalls they acquired, transferred by Mr. Frost. 
To the same Commission one of the American witnesses said 
that the Americans hold about 5 per cent, of the Smithfield 
stalls that would be seventeen. These stalls just referred to 
are stalls run in the name of the companies, or partners. But 
it is constantly said and suggested in letters to the Press 
that the Americans are interested in shops nominally held 
and conducted by other parties, and that if the truth were 
known it would be found that they really control a large number 
of shops at Smithfield. 

Administration of the Market. 

The control and management of the Central Markets is vested 
in a committee of the Corporation consisting of six aldermen 
and twenty-nine commoners ; no tenant of the market is per- 
mitted to belong to the committee. The chairman of the com- 
mittee in 191 1 was Mr. James Rowland Brough. The rule exclud- 
ing tenants is of comparatively recent origin, and is constantly 
being attacked on the ground that a committee of management 
skilled, as to its personnel, in every mercantile business except 
that of handling meat must of necessity be incapable of a 
thoroughly efficient, just, and sympathetic administration of 
London's great Central Markets. Considering how vast and 
highly complex the operations of the Central Markets are, and 
the number and variety of interests involved, it does appear 


reasonable that the market community itself should be repre- 
sented on the Markets Committee the market representatives 
need, of course, never exceed a voting minority of the com- 

An important part of the administration of the Central 
Markets is that concerned with the inspection of the meat 
supplies by the Corporation officers. The Medical Officer 
: Health for the City of London is charged, among other 
things, with the duty to the public of ensuring that a pure 
supply of fresh food passes through the marts of Smithfield. 
Mr. T. D. Young is chief inspector, and there is a staff of 
twelve inspectors, constantly on the watch to detect unsound 
meat. It must be stated that the tenants themselves are of 
great assistance to the inspectors, for a considerable proportion 
of the meat condemned represents cases voluntarily brought 
before the inspectors by the salesmen. In 1910 1,427 tons of 
meat were dealt with by the market authority as unsound : 
("diseased," 119 tons, "putrid" [mostly accidentally damaged], 
1,164 tons, and "unwholesome," 144 tons) a mere fraction of 
the whole quantity supplied to the market. 

The meat condemned by the inspectors is chemically dealt 
with at the Corporation condemned meat sheds adjacent to 
the market, so as to prevent its being used as foodstuff, and it is 
then sold for commercial purposes, the proceeds being retained 
l>y the Corporation to cover the alleged expenses, or handed 
over to the owners, less certain charges. 

The Corporation's Claims in 1904. 

That the Corporation of the City of London keep and have 
kept a keen eye upon the developments of the frozen meat 
trade is evidenced by their having raised the question of tolls 
in a special way in 1904. In that year some excitement 
was caused in Smithfield frozen meat circles by the Markets' 
Committee's attempt to revise the Central Markets' con- 
st it ution by introducing new by-laws. The Corporation of 
London claimed the right to collect tolls on meat sold 
at Smithfield although delivered direct from store without 

F.M. o 


going on the market. Such a claim would practically 
involve payment of toll on every carcass imported into 
London and would be a tax on the food supplies of 
the metropolis. The Corporation also desired to make by- 
laws to control the operations of wholesale dealers and agents 
who transacted business with Smithfield salesmen. This point 
is dealt with in the following extract from one of the suggested 
by-laws : " Any person not being a tenant of the markets 
who shall, in the markets or their approaches, hawk or offer for 
sale any goods, or solicit or tout for or take any order for 
any provisions or marketable commodities, shall, for every 
offence, forfeit and pay a sum not exceeding 5." What was 
meant by " approaches " is understood when it is mentioned 
that, under the old charter, the Corporation took the term to 
include a radius of seven miles from the Central Meat Markets. 
These claims were really a protest against the system which 
had grown up of delivering frozen meat " ex store " ; such 
meat, instead of, as formerly, being brought into the market, 
would be sold there by sample, on brand, or otherwise, and the 
bulk would be despatched from cold store. Probably, the 
Corporation hi making these claims were actuated to some 
degree by the knowledge that not a jot of the enormous profits 
made occasionally in the transfer of Central Avenue stalls 
for the " good will " to American houses came its way. And 
as to the second part of its new demands, the Corporation 
objected to the Market being used as an open exchange, for 
buyers and sellers not being tenants to meet there and do 
business. It was necessary that the Board of Trade should 
grant permission for the suggested by-laws to be added to 
the Central Markets' constitution, and at this point the Frozen 
Meat Trade Association, after having, in conjunction with the 
Agents-General for Australasia and other trade associations, 
resisted the proposals, lodged with the Board of Trade a com- 
prehensive statement of objections to certain of the by-laws. 
The Board of Trade was to have held an enquiry into the 
suggested by-laws, but the inquiry was postponed at the 
request of the Corporation in 1905, and has not taken place to 
the present time. The course adopted by the Association was 


successful in blocking the proposals of the Corporation in a 
general way, though some change was from that time made in 
the form of tenants' agreements to cover the Markets Com- 
mittee's claims in this matter of tolls. One effect of the 
Corporation's claims to penalize persons (non-tenants) who 
attempted to " hawk " or " tout " in the markets was to 
cause firms who did the sort of business aimed at to establish 
themselves in offices round the market in West Smithfield. 
This had been going on for some time, and the possibility of 
cumulative 5 fines made firms get a stand outside the market. 
The whole matter has now narrowed down into arrangements 
between the Corporation and its tenants, and where the agree- 
ments (which vary in different parts of the Market) admit of 
Mich action, the Corporation exacts toll from tenants on all 
meat sold at their stalls whether delivered from the stalls or 
from outside cold store. The episode is interesting as a protest 
on t ho part of the Corporation of London against the decentrali- 
zation of the chilled and frozen meat trade from the Central 

Getting the Meat to Market. 

Insulated vans convey the meat from the dock stores to the 
market. The cold stores begin loading up meat for Smithfield 
at about 10 p.m., and the vans reach the market about 3 a.m. 
the- following morning. The salesmen and their staff arrive 
before 4 a.m., at which time the retailers begin to come along, 
all in a hurry to get their daily supplies for London's flesh-food 

There are several toll offices outside the market, and each 
van-load of meat is weighed, and the toll (2s. 3d. per ton) paid to 
the clerk, who gives a pass, which is handed to the policeman 
at the portals of the great Smithfield market. The meat is 
borne on the backs of stalwart market porters to the various 
" shops " or " stalls " ; these porters are strenuous persons, 
and stand not upon the order of their going. To meet in full 
career a porter laden with a 200-lb. quarter of " hard " beef 
is to experience a "knock-out." Sample carcasses of the 

o 2 


different qualities and weights are unclothed and hung up on 
the salesman's hooks, the bulk being stripped for examination 
by buyers when purchasing. In this way from one carcass to 
200 carcasses are sold at a time, according to the requirements 
of retail buyers, who consist of suburban butchers, represen- 
tatives of the large stores, Government contractors, restaurant 
keepers, etc. The retail buyers may also purchase joints, 
pieces or " oddments," and some of the Smithfield stallholders 
make a speciality of cutting up carcasses to oblige their cus- 
tomers. In the chilled beef trade " rumps " and " loins " are 
very commonly cut from the hindquarters for the West-end 
butcher. The buyer negotiates swiftly there's no time to 
waste at Smithfield ! and if a bargain is struck, wooden 
skewers are stuck in the carcasses, which are forthwith again 
shouldered by the porters and carried to the waiting van of 
the buyer, or, perchance, to one of the two railways which 
run underneath the market. 

Market Methods at Smithfield. 

The keen purchaser frequently buys on the brand ; he usually 
inspects the tag attached to the carcass to satisfy himself as to 
the " sub-marks " for quality and weight. The suburban 
butcher often likes to secure Canterbury brands, and sees that 
the ticket is left on the carcass so that he can, if necessary, 
show his customers that he is selling genuine Canterbury meat. 
For all comers the salesman is prepared ; he will sell you a 
shoulder of mutton, a dozen kidneys, or 500 sheep, for he caters 
for " one and all." 

The rule in settling hi the Central Markets is a week's credit. 
Credit is given for longer terms in some rare cases, but the 
frequency of bad debts in the market of late years has limited 
this practice, and the salesman now pulls his man up very 
sharply if he fails to pay promptly. 

It is only to be expected that the biggest meat mart in the 
world has complexities which would prevent the onlooker who 
cursorily regards its operations from getting to the bottom of its 
methods. Its salesmen are divided, roughly, into sections, 



and one division is according to the trade in which they are 
engaged. Though the tendency of late years has been for the 
Smithfield tenants to cultivate a mixed business, there are 
some who still confine themselves to the Scotch trade, some to 
American beef, and others to the frozen business. But the 
two major classes into which the salesmen are divided are the 
commission salesmen and the jobbers; there is a third the 
direct importer. 

The commission salesman receives consignments of meat 
from anybody and everybody, and his rate of commission 
varies. On the authority of an old tenant, " for the last forty 
years 2| per cent, has been the standing commission for all 
meat except pork, which is sold at Is. per pig under 12 stone 
(of 8 Ibs.) and Id. per stone above that weight. Poultry is 
supposed to be consigned at 5 per cent, commission, but in 
that trade special arrangements are frequently made." The 
commission salesman pure and simple is fast becoming a 
rarity in the markets, largely on account of the low prices of 
frozen meat ; little can be made out of the customary 2 per 
rent ., which rate has extensively prevailed notwithstanding 
what is mentioned just above. 

The so-called commission man often indulges in a little 
speculation on his own account, and in so doing becomes a 
jobber. The jobber is a trader who buys for resale. He is 
also prepared to take goods on commission when it suits him ; 
sometimes it does not. In cases of congested markets salesmen 
may decline to accept goods for sale ; cases of 5 per cent, having 
been offered are on record, and sometimes the salesman may 
bargain for Id. per stone commission. The jobbers go down 
early in the morning, and are at their shops between 3 and 
4 a.m., before the butchers go to the market. The purchases 
of frozen meat from the importers are generally effected 
between 9 a.m. and noon of the day preceding that on which 
it is pitched on the market, this being the only time when t he 
salesmen have the opportunity of discussing deals with the 
importers. The rates at which this business is done go a 
long way to determining the prices ruling next day, though, 
of course, the total supply and the total demand of the day 


overrule to some extent the question of the cost price of the 
meat. Smithfield Market, with its vastness and multiplicity 
of interests, is large enough to make a study of the influences 
that determine the market price of the day a subject as elusive 
and as deep as it is attractive to follow. As a rule, a jobber 
does not pay toll on any meat bought inside the market, the 
importer having paid it ; but on meat, etc., bought outside 
the market the jobber has to pay toll, though it is necessary 
to qualify this by saying that the practice depends on the 
terms of purchase. 

The Americans are doing a lot of harm to the jobber. Their 
operations make it difficult for him to exist, and the day may 
come when the jobber will be almost eliminated. He has to 
be a very smart man indeed, and has to watch the market with 
lynx-like eyes to secure his " turn." He is essentially a 
" spot " operator. 

The term " direct trader " may serve to describe the position 
of the third class. The man who buys live stock (the " carcass 
man ") and brings the carcasses to Smithfield for sale on his 
own account, and the c.i.f. buyer of frozen meat, fall into this 
category, as they get very near the producer. But the Smith- 
field tenants who form the majority of this division are the 
large firms of importers who distribute from Smithfield in a 
wholesale manner, or sell to their co-stallholders. The 
American houses and the companies in the Australasian and 
South American trade, although they may do at times commis- 
sion and jobbing business, are a very distinctive class of Smith- 
field tenants, and one likely to increase. 

Prices for the Day. 

The meat prices vary from day to day and, in times of market 
excitement, from hour to hour. It is not easy to understand 
and explain how these rates come to be fixed in and accepted 
by a market of such enormous proportions and divergent 
interests. Retailers going from stall to stall could tell us that 
wonderfully little variation exists in the ideas as to the day's 
prices on the part of the salesmen. It used to be imagined in 



New Zealand that prices for frozen meat were settled day by 
day by the Smithfield " ring " i The slightest knowledge of 
Sinithfiold's business shows that a "ring" cannot exist it 
could were frozen meat a market by itself and in the hands of 
a few. But New Zealand frozen meat is only a small percentage 
of Smithfield's pitchings, and has to take its place alongside 
English, Scotch, American, Dutch, Australian, Argentine, and 
other meats. It is impossible to mention all the factors working 
automatically towards current meat prices. " We feel it in 
the air," said one of the salesmen, when asked how the market 
tenants arrived at the morning's prices. A few of the more 
obvious influences may be mentioned. First, of course, any 
change in the public demand for meat, favourable or unfavour- 
able ; retailers' buyings would be affected by this, and the 
weather has a curiously potent (not altogether sentimental) 
effect in causing the butcher to purchase briskly or cautiously. 
Then would come the controlling factor in the situation, the 
supplies of meat not only frozen meat, but all sorts, for the 
different descriptions act and react upon one another, and the 
price movements of superior kinds strongly affect the whole 
market. The salesman knows roughly the quantities of meat 
warehoused in London, and the expected imports, and he learns 
from the carriers the bulk to be pitched on the market on a 
certain day. Argentine chilled beef, very sensitive as to value, 
powerfully influences market prices. The state of general 
trade in the country has its effect. The salesman, with all 
these currents and influences around him, weighs the general 
< -i tv u instances of the meat market and arrives at a rough 
idea of the marketing value of his meat. Of course there 
is much " come and go " in the business. If, for example, he 
considers that the factors promise well, he will test his buyers 
with a penny per stone rise on the market rates of the previous 
day. Finding his sales checked, he drops his price again an 
hour later, but if sales continue freely, he may try for a further 
advance. The same general principles, presumably, apply to 
Smithfield as to all other open markets and exchanges, tlu- 
fluctuations in price being intensified in the case of meat by 
reason of its perishable nature. 



THE retail sale of frozen meat puts the whole industry to the 
touch. The New Zealand farmer, the Argentine estanciero, 
the Queensland grazier, have in mind the fancies of the English 
meat-buying public in breeding their animals for freezing. 
The whole of this business, with its enormous invested capital 
and widely extended mercantile links, depends as to adequate 
financial return upon the favours of the British consumer. 
Engineers burn the midnight oil in designing new and 
economical machinery and plant for freezing works, ship, and 
cold store. Shipping and railway systems are changed 
especially to serve the needs of the transport of frozen meat ; 
marketing and mercantile methods swiftly adapt themselves 
to its distribution. All these processes await their crucial test 
at the butcher's shop. Of course, the " butcher " is not now 
a butcher, but a meat retailer, and the frozen meat trade has 
brought about the change. 

The retail meat trade in England is divided into two classes, 
the butcher who kills his animals in his own slaughterhouses, 
and the meat purveyor who purchases his stock-in-trade in 
the markets. The latter class, with which this chapter is 
concerned, is again split up into three sections. There is the 
" family trade " man who sells meat of the highest quality 
obtainable ; he runs accounts, and has often to give long credit. 
The " mixed trade " man gives some credit, but his business 
is mostly on a cash basis. Then there is the " Colonial " or 
" cutting " trade all cash business. The family trade shop 
makes its principal show at the beginning of the week, the 
mixed trade shop at the end ; as for the " cutting " shop, 
there's no show at all. Immediately the frozen meat goes into 
stock, there it is cut up hard and bright. 


In the mixed trade shops home-killed, American, and frozen 
beef and mutton are sold, as well as small quantities of pork and 
Teal. A small " tut ting " shop is generally closed on Monday, 
as its daily supplies are shut off by the occurrence of Sunday, 
and its customers seldom require fresh meat on the following 
day. Frozen mutton and lamb, and forequarter beef, suet, etc., 
are the goods dealt in : at such a shop about fifteen sheep, five 
lambs, and three fores of beef will be handled on Saturday. 
These shops are mostly met with in provincial towns, and the 
majority are run in the names of, or are " tied " to, the great 
shop-owning companies. A word in passing here : the family 
butcher to a great extent has found out that he must keep 
frozen lamb (New Zealand) in stock, and also, very frequently, 
New Zealand mutton. If he does not, his customers go to the 
retailer who does. It is quite a recognized thing for people 
who would not dream of buying frozen meat in general to 
purchase Canterbury lamb. Possibly the feelings of these 
worthy conservatives are soothed by the magic of " Canter- 
bury." There may be recorded the well-authenticated state- 
ment that many innocents buy Canterbury (New Zealand) 
meat sincerely believing that it comes from the Romney 
Marshes of Old England. The proportion of Canterbury lamb 
handled in the high-class shops increases when home mutton 
is dear, and decreases when home mutton is cheap. 

The Producer and Retail Business. 

It has been the dream of many of the producers in New 
Zealand and Australia to run their own shops in England, to 
hold their meat in their own hands right through the whole 
cycle, and not to surrender the ultimate link to the English 
meat purveyor. In New Zealand the producer not the 
freezing company has been very keen on this ; not altogether 
because of the retailing profit. He has long been convinced 
of the excellence of the meat he sends to England, and has 
naturally resented the good deal of improper substitution that 
in the past has taken place in the retail vending of frozen meat 
in various parts of the Old Country. Royal Commissions 


have showed him that frozen mutton has been sold as home- 
produced, of which he surely, as well as the English farmer, 
has a right to complain, and police court prosecutions have 
revealed the practice of inferior frozen meat being palmed off 
as " Canterbury " or " New Zealand." The New Zealand 
grower has desired above all that the article he produces shall 
not lose its identity when it reaches the shop stage, and he 
bitterly resents the fraudulent use of the description " New 
Zealand " in the selling of frozen meat. But the improvement 
that has taken place of late in the quality of South American 
and Australian mutton tends to lessen the grounds for the 
New Zealander's complaint in this connection. According to 
the oft-stated opinions of all practical men in the meat trade 
of Great Britain, New Zealand mutton has steadily deteriorated 
in quality in recent years, chiefly because New Zealand has 
decided to develop her lamb trade at the expense of mutton. 
The keen demand for lambs for freezing has tempted farmers 
to ship many of their most promising young animals instead 
of keeping them for breeding stock. 

Schemes, of which there have been many, have in the past 
been framed mainly in order to give shippers the benefit of 
retail profits. To give an instance, there was a very elaborate 
draft scheme, dated 1887, for selling New Zealand mutton and 
lamb in twenty shops, to be opened in fifteen of the most 
important centres of Great Britain. It was proposed to invest 
10,000 in the venture, and to turn over 2,000 carcasses a 
week. A respectable profit was counted upon, but the scheme, 
intended to conserve the retail selling returns for the New 
Zealand interests, never got beyond paper. 

With regard to proposals in this direction that were carried 
to completion, a bold move was made in 1899 by the Christ- 
church Meat Co. in inducing Mr. H. Woodley to open up at 
Queen Street, Cardiff, a shop for the sale of choicest Canterbury 
mutton and lamb. The shop was fitted up in an attractive style, 
with agricultural scenes pictured on the tiled walls. This 
enterprise was a joint affair between the company and 
Mr. Woodley, but after a few years the business was taken over 
entirely by the latter. The venture was not intended in any 


way to compete with the company's c.i.f. buyers, but, on tho 
contrary, was intended to assist them by advertising the 
choicest qualities of New Zealand meat. This action of the 
Christ-church Meat Co. in giving up their interest in the Cardiff 
shop showed that the directors came to the conclusion that it 
was not their business to run the retail trade, and no doubt 
this is the position wisely taken up by the managers of tho 
Australasian meat works in general. Another venture con- 
nected with the retail sale of the highest qualities of New 
Zealand meat and other produce was that of Mr. H. C. Cameron, 
who opened the New Zealand Produce Stores in Manchester 
in 1894. He brought New Zealand meat successfully before 
classes of Manchester consumers who had been accustomed 
hitherto to see lower grades of frozen meat vended in by no 
means attractive shops. This business was taken over in 
1898 by Messrs. W. and R. Fletcher, Ltd. 

An ambitious scheme was propounded in 1903, when the 
British New Zealand Meat and Produce Co., Ltd., was formed 
in New Zealand with a share capital of 150,000. Quoting 
from the prospectus, this company was formed " for the pur- 
pose of supplying direct from the producer in New Zealand to 
the consumer in Great Britain and elsewhere New Zealand 
meat, butter, cheese, and other produce." Many leading men 
connected with the meat export industry helped forward the 
founding of the company, which had the blessing of Mr. Seddon, 
Prime Minister. A prominent feature of the proposals was 
the adoption of a defrosting process. The capital was reduced 
to 50,000, of which sum something under 20,000 was paid 
up. When business was opened in London, four suburban 
shops were taken. It was discovered, however, that there 
were too many butchers in London to allow of the original 
scheme being carried out with success, and at the present time 
the company's retail business is confined to only one shop 
at Finsbury Park. The company has, however, settled down 
to ordinary importers' business, and now, with a wholesale 
stall in Smithfield Market Annexe, conducts a profitable trade. 
The first dividend, 6 per cent., was paid in 1908, no dividends 
having been earned on the retailing business. 


The idea that money could be made by meat producers 
taking over the retail selling of their own frozen meat has been 
very widely held in the past. About eight years ago par- 
ticulars were forthcoming concerning a bold venture in this 
direction. A company was to be formed with a capital of 
150,000, 100,000 of which was to be devoted to the purchase 
of 400 retail meat shops, 20,000 being for preliminary expenses, 
and 20,000 for working capital. It was estimated that 
10,000 sheep and 2,220 cwts. of beef would be turned over 
weekly, say, 431,600 cwts. of meat per annum. The cost price 
of meat was put at 3d. per Ib. all round, and selling at 4d. per 
Ib. left an annual gross profit of over 200,000 ; net profit 
close on 30,000. The author of the prospectus, a practical 
meat man, pointed out that this sum paid a handsome dividend 
on capital and left a substantial surplus. The principle of 
business adopted by the great London stores was to be intro- 
duced. Close attention was to be given to the utilization of 
the inferior parts of the carcass by having them sent to the 
company's shops in poor districts. The promoter wrote : 
" Our line of policy will be to transfer the * goodwill ' of local 
shops from the local shopman to the company." The estimates 
and the plan of campaign in this case were all worked out most 
closely. What one had to take for granted, it may be presumed, 
in order to arrive at the 30,000 a year net profit, was that 400 
suitable shops could be acquired and manned, and the whole 
revolutionary system of management set going as smoothly 
as a clock is wound up. Nothing came of the scheme, but 
its details are mentioned here, as they possess features of 

Of course, one of the recognized difficulties of running 
multiple meat shops is the unreliability of the employees, 
especially in the case of businesses of a casual kind. However, 
the failure of all attempts on the part of New Zealand and 
Australian meat producers themselves to carry out the 
retailing of their meat is due to a deeper cause, and can only 
be attributed to the fact that a good farmer makes a bad 
tradesman, even as, of course, a good tradesman would make 
a bad farmer. English and Scotch farmers for the past fifty 


years have been possessed by the same idea as the New 
Zealand producers, and every one of the innumerable attempt* 
on their part to run their own retail shops has ended in 
dismal failure. 

Lamb versus Mutton. 

Too much stress cannot be placed on the part which New 
Zealand lamb has played in attracting a better class of cus- 
tomers ; frozen meat in general has been popularized exten- 
sively by this means. At times retailers have found it 
profitable to push frozen lamb against home-bred mutton ; it 
was not a difficult task to convince the public of the superior 
eating quality of the lamb. Restaurants have taken up this 
practice, finding it a good investment to put New Zealand 
lamb joints on their tables in place of the more expensive 
English mutton. But the lamb often appears as " mutton " 
on the bill ! This policy of the retailers, only profitable 
when the wholesale prices of frozen lamb do not exceed 5d. 
per lb., acts prejudicially on the frozen mutton trade, and the 
depression which has been felt in this section for years past is, 
doubtless, accounted for partly by the increasing lamb vogue 
in the shop and the home. 

Attention may be drawn to the statement made so frequently 
of late by writers in trade papers that mutton is becoming 
" unpopular " in Great Britain. This is, probably, incorrect. 
That lamb is displacing home-bred and imported mutton to 
some degree, as noted above, is evident from an examination 
of the statistics. In the years 1905, 1906, and 1907, imports 
of frozen lambs increased splendidly. Taking receipts in the 
United Kingdom from all quarters, the increases in the years 
mentioned were, respectively, 592,700, 648,000, and 668,000. 
In the same years the frozen mutton increases were nothing 
like so considerable. With Argentina now exporting largely, 
it is plain that frozen lamb is encroaching upon frozen mutton. 
nsumers find lamb in a way forced upon them, their demand 
for mutton must lessen ; mutton then becomes " dull " in the 
wholesale marts. And the heavy supplies of English and Scotch 
mutton have brought down prices for home-bred. But none 


of these tendencies need convince one that the public are losing 
their taste for juicy and tender mutton, which is far more 
popular in the British Isles than on the Continent of Europe, 
where, generally, mutton is not fancied. 

One reason why frozen mutton has not made its way so 
thoroughly and successfully into the better-class houses is, 
probably, because to a great extent it is cooked without 
sufficient hanging. Frozen meat has no chance at all unless 
the frost has been entirely removed from the carcass or the 
joint. Frequently the meat which was in the cold store on 
Friday morning is in the citizen's oven on Sunday ; the joint 
is bound to be tough. One cannot be surprised at the dislike 
for frozen meat which would follow the consumption of such an 
indigestible joint ! Many retailers thaw out the meat properly 
by various means, but some do not. The matter is one well 
worth taking in hand with a view to the education of the 
public. Unfortunately, when frozen meat has been well 
thawed out and has been hung till it has become ripe, it is 
apt to be unsightly in appearance. On account of its excel- 
lent eating qualities, frozen lamb, therefore, commands a special 
field in the retail vending ; neither frozen mutton nor frozen 
beef approaches it. 

It must be confessed that frozen mutton is not as reliable 
an article as frozen lamb, and one of the reasons why the 
former has not become as popular with the public as lamb is 
because of the shipment of secondary and inferior grades, and 
of ewe mutton sent from Australia and New Zealand and 
now beginning to arrive from South America. New Zealand 
is losing her mutton trade in Great Britain to some degree. 
" Plate " mutton, bright and of excellent quality, and arriving 
regularly, is getting to be preferred by the retailer, and 
threatens to command the markets. It is maintained by the 
English meat merchants and experienced market men that 
frozen mutton is somewhat lacking in flavour and tenderness, 
and that shippers should be content with their mutton occupy- 
ing a secondary place in the markets of Great Britain ; they 
say that the intrinsic merits of the meat are indicated by the 
price which it fetches on the wholesale markets. They dismiss 


the idea of " prejudice," pointing out that the word is outworn 
and ridiculous when Great Britain uses over 10,000,000 frozen 

carcasses annually and asks for more. Hut then- can he no ques- 
tion that for the first ten to twenty years after the Strathleven 
landed her cargo the force of prejudice acted as a considerable 
deterrent to frozen meat enjoying the degree of popularity to 
u Inch its good qualities and cheapness entitled it, prejudice 
manifested in the servants' hall at the instigation of the 
butchers and the suburban snobbishness because frozen meat 
was not considered the " proper thing." 

The Retailing of Beef. 

Speaking of the average frozen meat shop, pure and simple, 
in England, it is obvious that its style and fittings generally 
are capable of much improvement. Many visitors from 
Australasia and other countries remark about this. Some- 
thing is wanted to make the shops brighter and more attractive. 

With regard to frozen beef, the retailer has not found this 
a very popular class of meat in his trade. That, at any rate, is 
what he says. Probably, the far better appearance of the 
(hilled beef from North and South America has created some 
prejudice against the frozen quarter ; the dampness in the air 
condensing upon the exposed surface of 200 Ibs. of beef causes 
the rather unpleasant phenomenon popularly styled "weep- 
ing." These things, however, are but externals, and no one 
questions the intrinsically good quality of the frozen beef 
from New Zealand and Australia and South America. 

Frozen beef is mainly retailed at the cutting shops, though 
the better parts find their way into the " mixed " trade. The 
cheap rates at which this beef has been wholesaled must have 
made it an extremely useful article for the retailer, and the 
public who have bought the enormous quantities imported 
have also obtained the maximum of nourishment at minimum 

With the coming of the Argentine chilled beef about the 
beginning of the nineties, the working of the frozen meat shops 
became immediately easier. Never was any development in 

the food import trade more welcome ! Though the North 
American supplies of refrigerated beef were a necessity to the 
meat trade in this country, the suppliers themselves were 
unpopular, and it was with great joy that wholesale and retail 
meat men in Great Britain saw plentiful quantities of chilled 
beef arriving from South America. Chilled beef from the 
United States of America is too high hi price for the cheaper 
shop to cut, but the retailer is able to sell good joints of 
Argentine chilled at moderate prices and work this meat 
conveniently with his frozen mutton and lamb trade. It is 
stated that frozen beef has come more into favour since the 
River Plate has been such a large shipper ; this is probably 
owing to the regularity of shipments and steady annual increase 
which have marked the exports. 

Counting up the Retailers. 

A useful conclusion to this chapter will be some figures to 
give an idea of the numbers of shops in Great Britain we may 
safely exclude Ireland at which the meat produced at home, 
and on farm, station, and estancia overseas is sold. There 
are 24,000 retail butchers in the United Kingdom. Then 
there are the stores there are about 1,500 in the United 
Kingdom and the provision and grocers' shops which also sell 
frozen meat, as well as the stalls in streets and markets 
and in country towns on market days, and also the humble 
coster, who must not be forgotten. Nothing in the shape of 
an accurate calculation can be made, but one may suggest that 
there are not less than 100,000 establishments in the United 
Kingdom at which fresh meat is vended. One has it on the 
authority of Mr. Heap, president of the National Federation 
of Meat Traders' Associations, that 80 per cent, of imported 
meat is sold by firms who sell nothing else. A list of the 
multiple shop concerns handling frozen and chilled meat only, 
with the number of shops, was prepared for the purposes of this 
book, but it was found impossible to ensure anything like 
accuracy. Brief allusion to this branch of the subject may, 
however, be made in stating that Messrs. James Nelson and 
Sons, Ltd., run about 1,500 shops in the United Kingdom ; 


Eastmans, Ltd., about 1,400 ; the River Plate Fresh Meat Co., 
Ltd., over 400; W. and R. Fletcher, Ltd., 417; and the 
London Central Meat Co., Ltd., over 500; these being the 
largest concerns. 

Considering that every town of about 5,000 inhabitants and 
upwards has its frozen meat shop or shops, and that there are 
the mixed and family shops to account for which handle the 
remaining 20 per cent, of imported meat, it cannot be unreason- 
able to suggest that there must be at least 20,000 shops, stores, 
etc., cutting frozen meat. 

To understand how frozen meat has captured the retail meat 
trade of England, one has but to study the advertisements in 
the Meat Trades Journal. The great majority of the company 
shops, as above, are in the populous centres of the north; 
but Eastmans' are well distributed over the country ; Messrs. 
James Nelson and Sons have about 250 shops in London and 
suburbs, and Messrs. Fletchers' are mostly in the Midlands and 
South and West of England. It is interesting to note the 
turnover of one of the large shop companies' business ; the 
figures appear colossal. One learns from particulars recently 
published that Messrs. W. and R. Fletcher, Ltd., turned over 
1,482,000 in 1910. Eastmans, Ltd., have cold stores in the 
United Kingdom capable of holding 350,000 carcasses of 
mutton. The big turnover of the multiple shop owner is done 
on a very small margin, sometimes as low as per cent., and 
the business, to admit of success, demands a keen expert 
knowledge of markets and men. Most of the London suburban 
retailers sell frozen meat. The restaurants catering for the 
rlt r Us supply it to their customers freely. 

As the multiple shop 'system has been, and is still more 
likely to be, such an important factor in the retailing of frozen 
meat, it is interesting before closing this chapter to take a 
glance at the development of a concern which was a pioneer in 
this branch of the trade. This is Eastmans, Ltd., which was 
formed in January, 1889, with a capital of 900,000, to acquire 
the cattle and fresh meat business of Messrs. T. C. and Joseph 
Eastman, of New York, and Messrs. John Bell and Sons, Ltd., of 
London and Glasgow, the latter concern being the multiple 

F.M. p 


frozen meat shop pioneer in Great Britain. The first directors 
of Eastmans, Ltd., were Lord Greville, Messrs. George Scheibler, 
H. Scott Ritchie, Russell Monro, Henry Bell, James Bell, and 
James John Thomson, managing director. The business of 
Messrs. Bell was started in 1827, and registered in 1888 as a 
limited liability company, the whole of the shares being held by 
members of the firm and their managers their turnover from 
1878 to 1888 was over 17,000,000. It was in 1879 that Messrs. 
Bell began to open up meat shops in Great Britain, and at the 
time of the amalgamation they had 330 shops in the British 
Isles. In 1900 the whole of the American business was discon- 
tinued, and the property sold, and from that time onward 
Eastmans, Ltd., have devoted themselves to their shop trade, 
in supplement to which they have a wholesale Smithfield con- 
nection. The 330 shops in 1889 have now increased to over 
1,400; the company have cold store depots at London, Glasgow, 
Dublin, Liverpool (two), Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Bristol, 
Chatham, and Sheerness, capable of holding 350,000 carcasses 
of mutton. Eastmans, Ltd., are very extensive buyers of New 
Zealand mutton and lamb, and they handle very considerable 
quantities of frozen and chilled beef from all parts of the 

References to James Nelson and Sons, the retail meat shops 
of which house, scattered up and down Great Britain, form 
the great rivals of Eastmans, Ltd., appear on p. 80. 

Mention, too, may be made of the part which Messrs. John 
Rose and Co. took in the retail distribution of Canterbury 
mutton and lamb. In this department of the trade they 
ranked as early pioneers (see p. 382). 

The Argenta Meat Company, Limited, is an important 
undertaking running a number of frozen meat shops in the 
north. It has been from its beginning an excellent customer 
for the highest grades of New Zealand mutton and lamb, and 
its shops are amongst the best class of retail meat establish- 
ments, where imported mutton, lamb, and beef are sold. The 
company was started by Mr. G. J. Ward and Mr. William 
Rushworth, and the first shop was opened in Oldham in 1895. 



As the successful marketing of frozen meat depends largely 
upon careful handling and efficient and rapid distribution, it 
will be well understood that the comparative merits of ports of 
destination for frozen meat shipped to Great Britain have 
always been the subject of considerable controversy. London, 
with its huge population, its pre-eminent railway facilities, 
and, generally, its overwhelming importance as compared with 
other centres, has always occupied first place as a centre of 
distribution for frozen meat. Twenty-one years ago out of a 
total import into the United Kingdom of 3,358,823 carcasses of 
frozen mutton and lamb, London received 2,389,129 ; eleven 
years ago out of 7,094,782 it took 4,770,801 ; and in 1910 it 
took 8,572,788 out of a total import for the United Kingdom 
of 12,981,044 carcasses. So in 1891 London was credited with 
71 per cent, of the total importations, in 1901 with 67 per 
cent., and in 1910 with 66 per cent. 

If minimum handling were the only consideration in getting 
frozen meat to the consumer, it is probable that direct shipment 
to the various chief ports round our coast nearest to the 
districts of population would be a method difficult to argue 
against, and with certain of our large provincial ports this 
trade has developed to a very large extent in the last few 

Quite early in the frozen meat campaign, in 1886, vessels 
from the River Plate were directed to Liverpool, which port 
quickly became the chief distributing centre for Argentine 
mutton. In 1902 over 2,000,000 carcasses were landed there, 
against 412,000 at London, but of late South America has 
largely increased her London landings. Argentine meat is 

p 2 


landed at Cardiff, Manchester, Bristol, Glasgow, Southampton 
Hull, and Newcastle, as well as at Liverpool, but the Mersey 
port has been the great distributive headquarters for the 
north of England of the importers. 

Had Australia and New Zealand especially Australia been 
able to arrange for the regular despatch of vessels to Liverpool 
and other ports in the early days of the trade, no doubt 
importers of Australasian meat would have put up a fight 
with the Plate companies in those markets. But the Aus- 
tralasian shipping services made London their destination, 
and refrigerated and other produce from those Colonies has, 
in consequence, been despatched to, and largely handled in, 
London. In 1892, however, arrangements were made for 
Australian and New Zealand mutton and lamb to be con- 
signed direct to Liverpool, and from that year to the present 
time the " outports " have been used by Australasian shippers. 
The volume of business was, however, quite small till 1904, 
when the " West Coast " steamer service was started from 
New Zealand to Liverpool, Cardiff, Avonmouth, Glasgow, and 
Manchester. In 1907 and 1908 about a million carcasses 
yearly were shipped direct to those ports from Australia and 
New Zealand, and by 1910 the totals had grown to over 
2,000,000. According to the statistics published by the London 
Central Markets Committee, during the twenty-nine years, 1880 
to 1908, 2,123,839 tons of frozen meat have been imported 
into Great Britain from Australasia, and of this total 1,533,777 
tons, 72' 2 per cent., have passed through Smithfield market. 
This percentage is now, however, lessening year by year. 
Probably, increasing quantities of Australian meat will be 
shipped to the provincial ports, but London will always remain 
the most favourable centre for selling New Zealand meat 
and the higher grades of frozen mutton and lambs from 
South America and Australia. 

The question of the comparative advantages in shipping 
to the various ports could be discussed at great length, 
but as this would be to little purpose here, the discussion need 
not be entered upon further than to say that it would seem 
that London and Liverpool are fated long to remain the chief 


ports for frozen meat ; they possess the population and means 
of distributing to an unequalled degree. There is noted in 
another part of this book the tendency of River Plate meat 
since 1905 to go in increasing proportion to London. Whilst 
shippers in New Zealand and Australia have been hankering 
after direct shipments to country ports, the Argentine people 
have quietly directed more and more of their chilled and 
frozen meats to London. London is the market for the 
highest quality, especially chilled beef ; so South America 
ships most of her chilled beef to Southampton and London, 
and mutton tends to follow. The weakness of country 
markets lies in the fact that they can be so easily overstocked ; 
over and over again importers of frozen meat have found this 
out to their cost. 

It remains to give some idea of the facilities for frozen meat 
possessed by the various leading ports that compete for this 
trade. The improved organization of the West Coast service 
bringing refrigerated produce from Australasia during the last 
few years has put the Liverpool, Cardiff, Manchester, Glasgow, 
and Bristol (Avonmouth Docks) markets into more direct 
touch with the farmer in New Zealand and Australia. This 
service has now been organized in a thorough manner. Route 
No. 1, via Suez Canal, is Australia to London, Liverpool, 
and Avonmouth ; No. 2, via the Cape, is New Zealand to 
Avonmouth, Liverpool, and Glasgow ; and No. 3, via Torres 
Straits and Suez Canal, is Queensland ports to Liverpool 
and/or London. There are twelve sailings in the year in 
each route on the homeward journey. The West Coast ports 
have many conveniences, and shippers are taking advantage of 
the facilities they offer non-lightering, handling and railage 
saved, cheap harbour and landing charges, etc. But the 
merchants in the cities named have failed to grasp that the 
frozen meat trade is being, and will in the future increasingly 
be, done on the selling forward basis. The days of chance 
or open consignment are waning, and if the provision 
brokers and merchants at these " out ports " desire to compete 
with London, they will probably find out ere long that they 
must take up the business in this way. 



The claims of Liverpool as a meat centre require no support : 
it is the second port of the United Kingdom, and its shipping, 
cold stores, cattle lairages, markets, and railways comprise a vast 
and excellent receiving and distributing system. The leading 
lines of foodstuffs brought to Liverpool in twelve months 
total about 45,000,000 in value. In 1910, 822,025 quarters 
of frozen beef from South America were landed there, while in 
1890 only about 5,000 quarters reached the port. In 1910 also, 
545,642 chilled quarters from South America were imported, 
and 246,728 lamb carcasses from the same source. The lambs 
imported into Liverpool from Australia and New Zealand in 
1910 numbered 411,132 and 334,341 carcasses respectively, 
and mutton carcasses 1,166,174 and 37,003 respectively, while 
frozen beef from the Antipodes was imported to the extent 
of 186,224 quarters from Australia and 40,683 from New 

Liverpool is well provided with cold storage accommodation, 
its seventeen stores having a total capacity of more than two 
million carcasses of mutton. A glance at the map will show 
that eight of these cold stores are situated either at, or 
in handy access to, the line of docks for which the port is 

As regards the actual landing facilities for frozen meat at 
Liverpool, most of the steamers carrying frozen meat discharge 
at the North end of the docks, and this is most suitable for 
the consignees of the meat, owing to the close promixity of 
the principal cold stores to the Canada, Brocklebank, Langton, 
and Alexandra Docks, where unloading usually takes place. 
The meat is discharged from the steamer's hold by means 
of large canvas slings on to the quay, under a covered shed, 
where it is sorted and delivered according to mark. During 
the last year or eighteen months a considerable number of 
insulated vans have been built by cartage contractors for the 
purpose of conveying the meat from the ship's side to cold 
stores or railway depot, a distance of only from about half a 
mile to a mile. The handling of the meat on the quay is 


undertaken by the master porter. He, in many instances, is 
only a nominee of the steamship companies, which arrange their 
own discharge and employ their own men on the quay to 
deliver to consignees. 

At several but not all of the discharging berths allocated 
to frozen meat steamers, railway lines have been laid down by 
the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board to enable refrigerator 
cars to be run alongside for the loading of the meat direct from 
the steamer. The meat is discharged on to trucks, and these 
are run across the Dock Board's shed to the railway line, 
where the meat is then loaded into refrigerator cars. If meat, 
however, intended for despatch to provincial markets cannot 
be loaded in railway vans alongside the steamer, it is usually 
carted in street wagons to the nearest railway depot or cold 
store, and loaded up there in ordinary or insulated railway 
vans, according to destination. 

A few railway rates in force from Liverpool to various 
consuming centres will illustrate the Mersey Port's position 
in this connection. There is a 2-ton rate of 22s. Qd. per ton, 
delivered, to Bradford, Leeds, and Sheffield, and 11s. Sd. 
(station to station) to Manchester. The 4- ton (owner's risk 
rate) to Glasgow is 1 per ton, while the 5-ton rate, delivered, to 
such towns as Newcastle-on-Tyne, North and South Shields, 
and Sunderland, is 32. Qd. per ton. The steamer rate to 
Belfast is 15s. and to Dublin 22s. lid. per ton. The railage to 
Birmingham is 255. per ton for 3-ton lots. 


With the completion and opening in 1894 of the Manchester 
Ship Canal, and the erection of cold stores in Manchester and 
on the Canal, enthusiastic efforts were made to establish a 
direct trade between Australia and that city. A beginning 
waa made in 1895, when the sailer Timaru took 16,000 carcasses 
from Geelong, Australia, direct to Manchester. The meat was 
sold c.i.f. at 2fd. per Ib. to local buyers, and opened out in 
splendid condition. However, the River Plate importers, with 
the avowed purpose of discouraging further direct imports 


from Australia, lowered their price for mutton to 2\d. and 
under thus causing the Manchester buyers of the Australian 
meat to make a heavy loss. Though the claims of Manchester 
as a suitable port for the direct import of Australasian frozen 
meat have been advanced with great persistency, the prospect 
has not been inviting enough to induce the shipper, the shipping 
companies, and the mercantile interests in England, to land 
Australian or New Zealand meat on the Ship Canal wharves, 
except to an insignificant extent. 

The Port of Manchester, for port it must be called, with its 
Canal facilities, vies with London as a centre of population, 
as within a twenty mile radius of " Cottonopolis " there 
is a population of nearly eight millions. This centre, too, has 
special cold storage equipment which is worthy of note. 
On the Ship Canal is a large refrigerated transit chamber, for 
the sorting of frozen meat and produce before delivery to 
railway wagons or carts. This chamber has a capacity of 
85,500 cubic feet, and is certainly an excellent provision, con- 
stituting that feature of cold storage equipment which has 
been advocated far and wide by those who study the ideal 
method of handling big lines of frozen produce imports. 

There are also at Manchester good facilities for storing frozen 
produce. At Weaste, on the Ship Canal, there is the large 
store of the Colonial Consignment and Distributing Co., now 
leased and managed by the Union Cold Storage Co. Its 
capacity is 175,000 carcasses, and alongside large steamers can 
be berthed and discharged. The Union Co. also has cold stores 
in Miller Street, Manchester, with a capacity of 80,000 car- 
casses ; the Manchester Corporation has within easy cartage dis- 
tance from the docks cold storage accommodation for 150,000 
carcasses of sheep alongside its extensive market and abattoirs. 
The Corporation abattoirs and meat market, together with their 
cold store, are second only to Smithfield, London, and the daily 
hanging of meat is greater than in any market in the Kingdom 
excepting Smithfield. The municipal cold store is situated 
conveniently for the various markets of the city. At the 
Foreign Animals Wharf and Lairages at the Manchester Docks 
there is accommodation for 1,850 cattle and 1,500 sheep, with 


room for extension. The weekly supply of cattle at these lairages 
from Canadian and North American ports brings butchers from 
the suburbs of Manchester, who in addition to purchasing 
fresh beef also obtain their supplies of frozen mutton and 
lambs, and thus avoid going to Liverpool and Birkenhead. 

The Ship Canal Co.'s efficient system of railway lines all 
round its quays is in direct communication with all the 
principal railways, and the Canal Co. takes charge of and 
ards produce at inclusive through rates. 


This leading port and distributing centre on the Bristol 
Channel has been closely identified with the frozen meat trade 
for many years, and although direct shipments from Austral- 
asia by the West Coast service are not as numerous as the 
advantages offered by the port and district seem to suggest 
they might be, the Argentine shippers take care in distributing 
their meat to send a large quantity to Cardiff. The first 
shipment of frozen meat landed in the Bristol Channel reached 
Cardiff about 1889. It was shipped by the River Plate Fresh 
Meat Company. 

In 1910 Cardiff came next in importance to Liverpool and 
London amongst the nine ports in the United Kingdom to which 
South American meat was despatched. As to the various 
facilities for receiving and handling frozen meat, Cardiff is well 
to the fore. Its docks are excellent, and railways run along- 
side. Cold storage space is ample, Cardiff itself possessing, 
as is shown in Appendix V., about half a million carcasses 
capacity, an accommodation about to be added to by the 
Cardiff Railway Co., which has decided to spend 40,000 on 
another store at the docks. Cardiff, the chief of the three 
fine ports on the seaboard of the Bristol Channel Cardiff, 
Swansea, and Newport is likely to have a brilliant future as 
a centre for the distribution of frozen meat and other 
refrigerated produce, especially if it can hold its own against 
A\onmouth its aggressive corporation-owned rival farther up 
the Channel. A considerable business has been done in the city 
and district of Cardiff in frozen meat. In Cardiff alone there 


are about 200 shops dealing exclusively with this article, and 
one firm of importers, Messrs. H. Woodley and Co., who run a 
number of retail meat establishments, may be mentioned as 
being identified with the trade from the eighties to the present 
time. There is a call for an immense quantity of frozen meat, 
as well as rabbits and butter, in the Cardiff district, and regular 
direct shipments would expand the trade. 

The Cardiff district includes the densely populated coalfields 
of South Wales, which are, as far as provisions are concerned, 
absolutely non-producing. Barry is included in the port of 
Cardiff, and has large up-to-date cold stores alongside the 
dock ; Newport, twelve miles off, also has large cold stores 
close to the railway stations. In both of these towns the public 
cold stores are owned by the Cardiff Pure Ice and Cold Storage 
Co., Ltd., which has very extensive refrigerated accommoda- 
tion, consisting of 394,000 carcasses in Cardiff, 100,000 in 
Barry, and 41,482 in Newport. The managers, Messrs. Neale 
and West, have been associated with the development of the 
direct imports of Argentine and Australasian frozen meat ever 
since these began, over twenty years ago. Cardiff is a fine 
centre for the distribution of refrigerated provisions of all 
sorts, and Australasian exports of this character might with 
advantage be sent direct to that port to a greater extent than 
is now the case. 


Bristol, at the Avonmouth Docks, has provided considerable 
up-to-date facilities for the import of frozen meat. Its first 
supply of cold storage was, as a matter of fact, to accom- 
modate the Canadian provision trade, for which a small 
store was erected in 1896. It was in 1904 that the 
Federal-Houlder-Shire boats began to call at Bristol and 
land some of their New Zealand frozen mutton and lamb 
at Avonmouth ; and as the trade proved too large for the 
existing store another of similar capacity was provided by 
insulating a portion of the upper floor of a transit shed on the 
west side of the Dock. In 1907 the importation of frozen meat 


into Avonmouth began from Australia, and direct shipments 
from the River Plate in 1011 have helped to make the Bristol 
Docks Committee decide upon doubling its cold storage 
accommodation . 

The method of discharge of frozen meat at Avonmouth is as 
follows. The meat is lifted direct from the hold of the 
vessel and delivered into the reception air-locked chambers, 
six of which serve the cold store. These air locks are 
not much used for sorting purposes ; the meat in the 
majority of cases as it comes from the steamer is sorted as 
it passes through the small door in the end of the store. The 
air locks are useful, however, for sorting purposes if the stores 
are crowded, and in addition it is possible in cold weather to 
make use of the air locks as a storage chamber. The cold 
store itself is alongside the steamer's berth, so that exposure of 
the meat between the ship's hold and the cold store is reduced 
to a minimum by the method of working referred to. Deliveries 
from cold store are made by shutes direct into refrigerator 
railway cars, which are loaded under cover. 


The imports of frozen meat at the port of Glasgow during 
1911 showed considerable development, and the prospects at 
this " outport " for shippers in the Southern Hemisphere are 
quite favourable. It is true that quantities of frozen meat 
landed at Glasgow prior to and during 1910 were inconsider- 
able, but the shipping facilities were limited. Glasgow is the 
centre of the Scotch meat trade ; it has a convenient whole- 
sale dead meat market, and a large quantity of Irish meat is 
handled there. Cold stores and landing and discharging 
arrangements are available for carrying on the imported 
frozen and chilled meat trade, a considerable increase in \vhirh 
especially from Australasia may be anticipated. (The 
discharging facilities, by the way, would bear improvement.) 
Appendix V. shows Glasgow to possess cold storage accommo- 
dation equal to 605,000 carcasses, of which more than half is 
at the stores of Messrs. William Milne, Ltd. (350,000), and 


150,000 at the stores of the Union Cold Storage Co. Scotland 
has, until recent years, been very backward in taking to 
frozen meats ; considering the production of the excellent 
beef and mutton which the graziers of North Britain supply 
to the markets, this is not surprising. But the Scotch people 
in the cities and towns are now becoming customers for 
frozen meat. The Glasgow market dealt with New Zealand 
boneless beef for collops until this trade was practically 
stopped by the Public Health Acts referred to at page 122, 
but a promising factor in the development of direct shipments 
to this port is the fact that Glasgow has excellent facilities 
for absorbing large quantities of frozen beef of good secondary 
grade to take the place of the said boneless beef, which, in large 
quantities, was formerly placed mainly by the North American 
shippers on the Glasgow market. 


Hull as a produce centre has aspirations far beyond the 
position it holds as a receiving port for the European ship- 
ments of eggs, poultry, game, butter, etc., coming to England. 
It is anxious for more frozen meat imports, stating that owing 
to its railway distributing facilities it is one of the cheapest 
centres of distribution for one quarter of the population of the 
United Kingdom inhabiting about a fifth of its area. This is a 
big claim, and as yet frozen meat does not bulk largely among 
Hull's imports. The Humber port possesses four cold stores, 
one, of 54,000 carcasses capacity, leased by the Compania 
Sansinena, and situated at the Alexandra Dock ; a town cold 
store, of 40,000 carcasses capacity, owned by the Union Cold 
Storage Co., Ltd. ; another store run by the same company is 
in the Sir William Wright Dock, of 200,000 carcasses capacity, 
and one at the Alexandra Dock, of 50,000 carcasses capacity, 
also belongs to the Union Cold Storage Co. Frozen and chilled 
meat is brought from the Argentine for the Sansinena Co. by the 
Houlder liners, and for the River Plate Fresh Meat Co. by the 
Royal Mail Steam Packet Co.'s vessels. The Federal-Houlder- 
Shire Line now books refrigerated cargo from Australia to Hull 


under direct bill of lading, certain boats in that service making 
Hull a port of call. The completion of the Hull Joint Dock, 
which will be owned shortly by the Hull and Barnsley and 
North Eastern Railway Cos., will give Hull the largest dock 
in the world, as its water area is to be 86 acres. 

The Country Trade : General Observations. 

In addition to the frozen meat shipments going direct to the 
" outports," considerable quantities landed by steamer in 
London are railed direct to the great marketing centres, 
where there are ample storage and sale facilities. Meat so 
railed from London docks or store goes, as a rule, right to the 
retailer, the goods which are stored in the provincial ports 
usually being meat shipped direct to those ports. All classes 
of frozen meats are more or less saleable in the Provinces, 
although particular descriptions are required for particular 
districts. Generally speaking, the country trade calls for 
lighter weight carcasses of mutton and lamb and quarters of 
beef than that required by London buyers. But fat carcasses 
find favour in agricultural districts. 

Practically the whole of England is carefully worked by 
commercial travellers on behalf of the great distributing houses. 
If any Australians or New Zealanders think, because the great 
bulk of their meat is landed at London, that the forty millions 
of people outside London are neglected, they fall into a deplor- 
able error. The whole of England, much of Scotland, and all 
Wales Ireland has yet to be converted have been opened 
up to frozen meat (see the information given in the preceding 
chapter). The country trade was first tapped by the dis- 
tributing firms handling Australasian meat Nelson Brothers, 
Borthwick's, etc. before the Argentine meat was good enough 
for the country trade. Depots were opened at places like 
Plymouth and Middlesbrough, which experience has since 
shown were not good distributing centres. The retailers, then, 
in the country are supplied by the distributing firms in London, 
per railway, or they get their frozen meat from Liverpool, 
Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Hull, or other ports to which it has 


been conveyed by steamer. Provincial operators are closely 
in touch with the metropolitan market, and wholesale values 
in London and country are practically the same. Railway 
rates for frozen meat from London to the various centres 
depend to some extent upon the quantities forwarded. The 
rates on 3-ton lots are as follow : to Cardiff, 25s. ; Bristol, 
20s. ; Liverpool, 25s. ; Glasgow, 53s. 4d. under 20 tons, and 
45s. over 20 tons. For England %d. per Ib. covers this item, 
roughly speaking ; for Scotland, \d. per Ib. 

By firms owning numerous retail shops very large quantities 
of frozen meat are distributed without passing through the 
open markets, and this may be said generally of all kinds of 
frozen meat handled in English country parts. The Argentine 
people, who exploited the provinces from Liverpool as their 
headquarters twenty-five years ago, were until recently much 
more at home there than the firms distributing Australasian 
meat. The former have their offices, wholesale and retail, on 
the spot, their arrangements are cut and dried, and there is a 
regular all-the-year-round demand. Country markets are very 
easily over-supplied and cannot absorb (as can Smithfield) 
unlimited quantities of meat, even at low prices. All classes 
and qualities of meat are distributed throughout the country ; 
London and the South Coast take the highest quality. Price 
lists are issued weekly by the Colonial Consignment and Distri- 
buting Co., Ltd., Thomas Borthwick and Sons, Ltd., W. and R. 
Fletcher, Ltd., Towers and Co., Ltd., and others. These houses 
issue pamphlets, leaflets, and illustrated circulars, got up in a 
very attractive style. 

Turning to the question of direct shipments from the 
Southern Hemisphere, this notice of the country trade may be 
concluded with a few lines giving a sketchy idea of the 
characteristics of the various centres, from the point of view 
of the importer of Australasian frozen meat, more on general 
lines than the specific information contained in the articles 
above. Liverpool, by far the most important of the " outports," 
the only port and trade centre which offers any serious rivalry to 
London, has largely increased its importance as a frozen meat 
port and centre during the last few years. It distributes 


throughout the Midlands, well across to the East Coast, and 
as far North-East as Newcastle. The sphere of influence 
of Liverpool, however, in the direction of the East Coast is 
being checked by Hull, at which fine port large cold stores 
have been erected, and to which city South American direct 
shipments of meat are sent. When the new dock referred 
to above is completed, Liverpool's claim to be the distributing 
centre for the North of England may be further disputed. In 
the Liverpool trade lean, small carcasses are preferred, distinctly 
interior from a Londoner's point of view to the quality 
handled in the London market. This may arise from the 
fact that a large proportion of the population are operatives in 
ironworks, cotton mills, and other factories, where the tempera- 
ture is high, and, as usual in hot climates, the consumer has 
no appetite for fat meat. Manchester has been a bit of a 
disappointment to frozen meat people. The Ship Canal was to 
have been a highway for argosies laden with the refrigerated 
produce of New Zealand and Australia, but some error was 
made in these sanguine anticipations, for Cottonopolis imported 
direct in 1910 only Australian lambs ; a bubble burst, indeed, 
when one remembers the efforts made years ago to attract 
direct shipments to Manchester. But although Manchester 
receives a certain quantity of meat shipped to that port, the 
shipowner largely takes advantage of the option in his bill of 
lading, and elects to rail to Manchester a portion of his cargo 
of meat from Liverpool in preference to the expense of 
sending his vessel up the Canal. Cardiff is a large consumer 
of frozen produce, and a very satisfactory and growing trade is 
done in that district. The Argentine companies have been 
shipping to Cardiff for many years, and do a considerable 
business there. Owing to the West Coast service calling at 
Avonmouth (Bristol), few direct shipments of frozen meat from 
Australia or New Zealand are now being sent to the Welsh port, 
which is a pity, as Cardiff possesses all the points which suggest 
an admirable port and centre for the reception and distribution 
of Australasian frozen meat and is the centre of a big meat 
consuming population, amongst whom retail distribution has 
become well organized. Bristol has not in itself been a very 


satisfactory market for direct importations. The trade done 
there is of a healthy description as far as it goes, but demand 
has not responded to the direct West Coast service shipments 
on the scale that might have been expected from a city and 
district with such a large population. Much of the meat 
landed at Bristol is forwarded by rail to Cardiff for distri- 
bution an unbusinesslike course forced upon shippers by the 
lack of direct freight to the Welsh port. Glasgow is a useful 
market for some special grades of beef and for New Zealand 
lambs of good quality, especially hi the earlier part of the 
season before Scotch lambs have matured fit for the market ; 
and a steadily increasing demand may be hoped for from the 
Clyde port as frozen meat becomes more popular in the cities 
of Scotland. Glasgow has not had a fair chance of developing 
into such a frozen meat centre as the importance of the city 
and its situation entitle it to, owing to the service of refrigerated 
vessels being very limited. For some reason no South American 
frozen meat was despatched direct to Glasgow in 1910. Glasgow 
is the most likely " outport " to increase during the next 
few years in the handling of direct-despatched shipments of 
frozen meat. 

What has been the effect of these " outport" markets upon 
general values ? An answer is ready, covering part of the 
subject, in stating that the premium which, before the days of 
direct imports, frozen meat railed from London enjoyed in 
the provincial centres has disappeared. Prior to the establish- 
ment of the West Coast service, the London importing houses 
in supplying their country customers were careful to make a 
good selection of meat that would stand the railway journey 
and which would meet their clients' requirements in every 
way, and for frozen meat thus placed upon provincial markets 
a premium of about Id. per stone of 8 Ibs., especially for 
New Zealand mutton and lamb, over the London ruling rates, 
plus carriage, was usually obtainable. As competition became 
pronounced, say, about 1903, 1904, and 1905, and vessels landed 
meat at the ports of the West Coast, supplies of frozen meats 
became obtainable at these ports at the London rates, and 
now mutton and lamb from South America and Australasia in 

IM{0\IN(I\I. hl-TIUH! TI<>\ 

London and provincial markets practically have the same 

As direct despatch of frozen meat from Australia and New 
Zealand to the ports of the United Kingdom, following the 
example sot by the Argentine shippers in dividing their con- 
signments between London and country, became possible in 
1903, the " opening up " of the " outports " in the Australasian 
interest was a matter of course. There was a great quantity 
of meat to be despatched to Great Britain, and the farmers and 
meat works managers, in taking advantage of the opportunity to 
divide their goods between London and provincial ports, adhered 
to the principle of wide distribution throughout their marketing 
area. It is probable that the aggregate output of Australasian 
frozen meat has during the last eight years expanded with less 
falling of values to the producers by reason of the development 
of direct supplies to the " outports " than would have been the 
case had all the meat been consigned to London which would 
have staggered had it been made to bear the whole burden of 
imports, notwithstanding its splendid distributing facilities. 
There are, however, well recognized limits of usefulness to 
oversea shippers in the "outport" markets; these country 
centres tend to become competitive, and their capacity for 
dealing with large quantities of meat has nothing of the 
expansiveness and elasticity which constitute London's great 
attractiveness. There is also to be considered that there is a 
tendency at the " outports " for the demand to be more or 
less for only one grade of any kind of meat. For instance, at 
Bristol light lambs are preferred, at Liverpool secondary 
lambs, while at Glasgow the market is chiefly for medium 
weight lambs. Bristol and Liverpool both ask for very light 
mutton, while Glasgow, on the contrary, requires heavy 
mutton. Of late years there have been occasions when these 
markets in the provinces have become congested, with the 
result that mutton and lamb South American particularly 
sold under London values. 




WHEN Mr. Mort in his Lithgow Valley speech heralded the 
era of frozen meat exports, he had in view the markets of 
England, and those only. For the first few years of the 
business there were no efforts made by the exporters of 
Australia and New Zealand to ship frozen meat to other 
parts than the Mother Country, and they centred their energies 
upon popularizing their mutton and beef with the English 
people. Indeed, to the present day New Zealand does practi- 
cally no " foreign " trade in frozen meat. It was not so, 
however, with the Argentine meat exporters, who, owing to 
the greater suitability of their produce for Continental needs, 
early devoted themselves to pushing their goods in European 
countries. In many ways Argentina took up and prosecuted 
the frozen meat trade on broader lines than did Austral- 
asia. Her grasp of the general position and prospects of 
the enterprise was thorough and intelligent, and quite early 
in the trade's developments the Argentine companies perceived 
that frozen meat was an article whose possibilities of distribu- 
tion were world- wide. Whilst Argentina adhered to the 
business principle " not to put all your eggs into one basket," 
Australasia was doggedly pounding away at her one market, 
London, which, of course, showed a marked preference for 
New Zealand and Australian meat as compared with Argentine 
in the early days of the trade. 

Attempts on the Continent. 

Belgium. The first signs of departure from this principle 
were, perhaps, to be noted in the despatch to Antwerp in 1885 
by Messrs. Nelson Brothers of the hulk (alluded to on p. 378) 
which they had sent to Plymouth with 10,000 carcasses. The 
craft was loaded with meat for a Belgian syndicate which had 


takon up very thoroughly the idea of importing frozen meat. 
I'.'-Li IM company had gone into the question deeply, they 
had shops in Antwerp, Brussels, Liege, and other Belgian towns, 
appointed agents, and advertised the meat well. For a time 
the sales were satisfactory, but after a while I lie drinaiitl died 
away. The people did not take kindly to the meat, and finally 
the hulk had to bring back the unsold carcasses. The 
Belgians insisted on the carcasses bearing the lungs, which 
were frozen in New Zealand. To inaugurate this departure, 
Nelson Brothers entertained the Belgian Burgomasters on 
frozen mutton at Cannon Street Hotel when Mr. de Keyser 
was Lord Mayor. The freezing hulk did not cease her con- 
nection with the frozen meat trade with her double failure at 
Plymouth and Antwerp. She was sent to New Zealand to 
act as temporary freezing works, and is now, after fifty years 
of stout service, still afloat. 

The "battlefield of Europe " has always looked a likely 
customer for frozen meat, as she is a heavy importer of meat. 
Belgium, as mentioned above, first attracted shipments of 
New Zealand meat, and Argentina followed up this trade 
in a determined fashion. A small duty, available storage, 
and energetic local butchering co-operation, were more than 
merchants handling frozen meat could resist. A Brussels 
butcher made 40,000 in five years dealing in foreign meat 
in his two shops. Messrs. Jules Renard and Co., of Antwerp 
and Melbourne, acting for Australian meat houses, endeavoured 
to get frozen meat into Belgium, but the " Lung Law," under 
which no meat could be imported into Belgium without the 
lung adhering to the carcass, proved a stumbling block. This 
statute was repealed in 1894 as to sheep, but it is still in force 
with cattle. In 1904 the Sansinena Co. made another effort 
to open the Continent to refrigerated meat supplies. In 
connection with the company's tallow business in Belgium, 
the idea of forming a separate company for the importation 
of frozen meat was entertained. Two shipments of meat 
were made to Antwerp, the beef having to be sent in sides. 
The result of the shipments was unsatisfactory, and no 
established business followed. 

Q 2 


France. In 1886 the New Zealand Loan Co. tried Paris with 
one or two small parcels ; however, we hear of no satisfactory 
business following. Probably the expenses of the venture 
checked further trials the costs from discharge in London to 
selling in Paris came to 2|d. per Ib. Nothing more as regards 
Australasia seems to have been done till early in the nineties, 
when the shippers of Queensland beef the graziers were then 
taking the market risks themselves began discussing with 
their London agents the advisability of looking for " extra 

The River Plate Fresh Meat Co. had a depot of its own in 
Paris nearly twenty years ago, starting its business there early 
in 1892, but giving up its cold store there in 1893. The company, 
in the search for a fresh outlet, went to the expense of fitting 
up a special store and sent two boats into Havre. They found 
it very unremunerative, for after they had spent their money 
and made all arrangements, the French Government put a 
lot of restrictions in the way, and they were compelled to give 
it up. One of the principal restrictions was that the lungs, 
heart, etc., had to remain hi the carcass, which had to be cut 
up into four separate quarters that prevails now, and, of 
course, is prohibitive. This regulation, which was added to 
the tariff law of 1892 at the request of the agrarians, is 
applied to all imported meat except Algerian. But a trade is 
regularly done in legs of mutton and rumps of beef with Parisian 
salesmen which meat, by special regulation, eludes the Act, 
which expressly states that no frozen meat is to be imported 
into France without the animal organs. The River Plate Co. 
chartered an old hulk, the Robert Morrison, when they put up 
their store in Paris, discharging into the hulk from their ocean 
steamers. The hulk, in fact, was a bonded store for the time 
being, and the company had to send over butchers to cut up 
the carcasses. 

The position of France differs from that of Germany in this 
important way : the latter country has a deficiency in food 
supplies for the nation, whereas France grows food enough. 
But notwithstanding this, France at an early date attracted 
frozen meat imports. The efforts of the Sansinena Co. are 

n>TMM].;n< IN OTIII :u LAND- 

referred to on p. 82 ; and this firm, which opened depots in 
three French cities, did a considerable trade in connection with 
them until the agriculturists, taking fright, brought pressure 
to bear upon the Government to raise the import duty from 
3 to 12 centimes per kilo., and in 1891 to 33 centimes, which, 
with the octroi, 12 centimes, brought up the total import duty 
to about 2d. a Ib. Still the Argentine-Franco meat trade 
continued, and in 1891 100,000 Argentine carcasses of mutton 
were imported, while in 1896 over that number were sent to 
France. But by 1900 the record was a sorry one, the trade 
having dwindled to one of 4,000 carcasses. The regulations 
as to frozen meat imported into France having to be accom- 
panied by the organs of the animals were really protection 
in disguise. 

Why should the Parisians have to eat over 50,000 horses a 
year ? They could have, if they liked, at less than the cost of 
this unnutritious meat, good beef and mutton from Australasia 
and South America. But for harassing regulations and biting 
tariffs frozen meat could well hold its own when shipped direct 
from the country of production. Meat can be produced in 
South America and Australasia at a lower cost than in any 
country of the world. In this connection there may be given 
the following quotation from an article in Cold Storage of 
March 19, 1908, by Mr. P. B. Proctor : "A rough average of 
the c.i.f. value of Argentine or Australian meat would be 
about :\'f. per Ik. and it is sufficient to point out that on this 
figure the Italian duty amounts to about 36 per cent., the 
French duty to about 43 per cent., and the German duty to 
about 62 per cent, ad valorem." 

Germany. The early nineties were a period of seething 
activity in the frozen meat trade. Meat came along in great 
l)u Ik, beyond the capacity of London to deal with it, and 
the frozen meat firms put out feelers in the countries of 
Europe to see what could be done there. Germany was the 
goal striven for ; the industrial movement there, at that time 
t. iking definite form, encouraged America and Australasia in 
the idea that the standard of living in Germany would be raised 
in the direction of an increased consumption of animal food. 


But the great Agrarian Party became alarmed, and immediately 
set up the agitation which resulted in the passing in 1903 
of the meat " inspection " law, more correctly termed the 
" meat exclusion " law. German imports of fresh beef from 
neighbouring countries (Denmark and Holland) in 1899 
showed a 400 per cent, increase as compared with 1897 ; cattle 
of all kinds, on the other hand, fell off from 307,000 to 268,000. 
The agrarians in Germany possessed enormous power and 
thus they succeeded in securing the " protection " they 
clamoured for. The United States of America meat packers, 
who shipped 350,000 cwts. of preserved meats to Germany in 
1899, protested vigorously against the measure that prohibited 
the entry of their goods, but without success. So the conditions 
were not propitious in 1892 1893 for introducing frozen beef 
into Germany. 

Still, something had to be done, for Queensland beef was 
arriving in London at the rate of 1,500 tons a month. Hamburg 
was attacked at the end of 1892 by Messrs. W. Weddel and Co., 
with the object of distributing the Queensland beef through 
North Germany, the import duty being \d. per Ib. Satis- 
factory arrangements as to storage in Hamburg having been 
made, a bold step was taken in 1893 in despatching direct to 
that port from Townsville, Queensland, the sailing freezer 
Turakina with 300 tons of frozen beef. The venture began 
auspiciously, but in the end proved a disaster to the German 
owners of this meat, owing to the opposition raised by the 
butchers throughout the country, though the meat was of 
excellent quality when landed and the whole enterprise well 
managed. As a matter of fact, the opening of separate shops 
for the sale of frozen meat was one great mistake commonly 
made in foreign countries. The sale of the meat in existing 
establishments would have been far less likely to arouse the 
antagonism of the Continental butchers. These might have 
been encouraged to secure profits out of the trade from the 
outset in their own shops, though, of course, import duties 
were always calculated to afford frozen meat a smaller margin 
of profit as compared with home-killed than was the case at 
the start of the trade in England. 


Before this the General Steam Navigation Co. insulated one 
of their steamers for Messrs. Weddel, in order to convey frozen 
beef from London to Hamburg. The market price for the 
beef in that city was 3|d. per Ib. for prime quality meat. 
Mr. H. Kirsten was responsible for this enterprise, and shops 
were opened at Hamburg specially for the sale of frozen beef, 

Hohe Bloichen 36/37 

and tho public at first thronged them, the police being actually 
employed to regulate tho crowds. But the trade flagged, 
both wholesale and retail, the meat hung on hand, and this, 
coupled with the poor financial returns, forced the relinquish- 
incnt of a promising enterprise, which had meant the shipment 
of about 1,500 tons of beef. The above facsimile reproduc- 
tion of the price list of one of the frozen meat shops opened 
at Hamburg in 1893 may stand as a rctnindt T of this premature 
effort to place frozen meat before the Germans. 


No country seems in a better position statistically for frozen 
meat exploitation than Germany. Of late years her meat 
supplies have been heavily depleted, and the working classes 
in 1905 raised considerable outcry about high prices for food, 
all the sections of the industrial life of the nation support- 
ing the demand for modification of the regulations dealing 
with meat imports. The answer on the part of the Govern- 
ment impelled by the agrarians was a new tariff wall 
higher by 50 to 70 per cent. ! The temper of the German 
Government affords no hope of relaxation, but the General 
Election of 1912 may ultimately result favourably for those 
Germans who desire to see a more generous diet placed before 
the people. The meat consumption of the German working 
man is small compared with that of his rival in Britain, and in 
order that the splendid country of Germany may benefit fully 
by the output of her sons engaged in her vast industrial 
activities it will be necessary to permit of the import of fresh 
meats under reasonable conditions. 

Austria. Part of the Turakina's previously mentioned 
meat cargo was despatched to Vienna by Messrs. Weddel, and 
there again the opposition of the butchers had to be reckoned 
with. Considerable pomp attended the first arrival of Queens- 
land beef in the Austrian capital, as will be seen from the 
following extract from the Wiener Tageblatt of June 24, 1893. 

A large consignment of meat has just come to hand at a time when the supply 
of meat from Vienna threatens to fall short on account of the scarcity of cattle in 
the monarchy. The shipment comprises 1,600 Australian oxen preserved in ice 
from the effects of temperature. To-day the first wagon is due at Vienna, and 
others will follow on. The meat will be sold next Tuesday in the places of the 
Society of Victuallers at the Central Market, and also in the district markets. The 
price is 60 kreuzers for first quality of hinds and 50 kreuzers for first quality of 
fores, but it is anticipated that prices will fall whenever the contractors organize 
the sale in the market places on their own account. The Court Counsellor Oser 
said that so that there might be no doubt about the good condition of the Austra- 
lian meat, he had ordered the Court Counsellor Professor and Dr. M. Grlibe to inspect 
the meat and report as to its nourishing properties. Afterwards these gentlemen 
visited the Mayor, at the Town Hall, to obtain his consent and support with regard 
to the sale of the Australian meat in Vienna. The Mayor replied that he had some 
knowledge of Australian meat, having eaten it and fouud it very good and 
appetising. He also stated that he would do his utmost to introduce the meat to 
the public. 

Both at Hamburg and Vienna municipal assistance was 
forthcoming. But the opposition of local interests and improv- 
ing prices in London checked the business. The Argentine 


shippers took advantage of the situation to despatch a train- 
load of frozen meat from Antwerp, but its entry into Austria 
was prohibited, and the country remained closed to frozen meat 
until the recent shipments from Argentina which followed the 
inquiry set on foot in 1910 and the visit of an Austrian 
delegation to Great Britain. 

Other European Countries. 

Before going farther afield, let us glance at the remaining 
European States to which frozen meat has been sent. Race 
feeling naturally tempted Argentina to exploit the land of her 
fathers, though, sad to say, proud Spain did not for a long 
time respond in proper parental style. A company was formed 
in Madrid some years ago to sell Argentine meat in the city, 
and a shipment was despatched. As the business collapsed, 
it is fair to suppose that either the demand was disappointing 
or that other difficulties prevailed. It does not appear that 
Australian meat was ever imported into Spain, though the 
formation of a butchers' syndicate at Barcelona for the purpose 
of such a trade would make it seem that Spain is at last ripe 
for a frozen meat venture of some kind. 

Italy welcomed refrigerated meat in 1905 with small samples 
from North and South America, sent to the Magazzini Frigori- 
feri Genovesi's modern stores at Genoa. In 1906 the purchases 
and total imports were 1,300 tons, of which 300 tons of Queens- 
land beef and mutton arrived by the Indraghiri, and 200 tons 
of Argentine beef by the Zero from the River Plate Co. Signor 
Fausto Scerno, the founder of the stores, wrote as follows : 
" We commenced better than England, where, in 1875, the 
total import was about 800 tons. In 1907 we imported about 
1,000 tons ; low figures, if you compare them with the grand 
total of 517,000 tons imported into England, but quite enough 
to prove that business in Italy has started much better and 
earlier than in France and Germany." Two experimental 
parcels were landed at Naples in 1907 from Australia. In 1910 
the imports from all sources aggregated nearly 3,000 tons. 

A market for frozen meat appeared four years ago in Sweden. 
A Stockholm merchant imported, and still imports, from 


London small quantities of Australian mutton and lamb 
regularly. Switzerland, each of whose Cantons, by the way, 
has its own import regulations, is pretty bare of meat in the 
tourist seasons, and some of the frozen meat sent to Genoa finds 
its way to Zurich. Mr. Coghlan, Agent-General for New South 
Wales in London, worked hard in 1908-1909 to secure entry 
for Australian meat into the Swiss Republic, and got the 
British Foreign Office to intervene. The Central Government 
was impressed, but from the following information from the 
Argentine Consul, indicative of the present position, it would 
seem that the impression did not sink deeply. " The importa- 
tion of meat preserved by an artificial freezing process will 
only be allowed on the special authority of the Federal Home 
Office, request for which will be necessary to be made by the 
Cantonal Government. This meat will only be able to be 
sold on a clear understanding as to its nature and origin and 
complying with the conditions stipulated in the Home Office 
Authority with the view of protecting the health of the con- 
sumers." Nevertheless, small parcels of Australian and 
Argentine beef are now going into Switzerland regularly 
through London. 

How great the prize of new custom must be when it is won 
is patent to everyone, but how great the need is for the 
diversion of heavy supplies from existing markets, only those in 
touch with the frozen meat markets can tell. The situation 
in Europe was never so promising as at present, but much has 
yet to be done before a trade of big dimensions is opened out. 

Were it possible to get a footing for frozen meat in the fair 
land of France, or in Germany, what a godsend it would be for 
Argentina and Australia, with their surpluses of stock ! But 
the main outstanding fact that these countries manage 
to supply themselves from internal resources is a sufficient 
reason for anticipating the greatest possible difficulty in 
introducing frozen meats into these markets, because it is 
certain that if, by reason of lower prices, shippers could compete 
with the local supplies, duties would be promptly raised so as 
to stop such importation. We are face to face there with the 
radical and permanent difficulty which it is as well to recognize. 


Although Franco and Germany arc coupled in this paragraph, 
a marked distinction must be made between them. Germany 
is really the less able to feed itself now, and imports con- 
siderably live cattle from surrounding countries, including 
France, at times. France is the more self-reliant country. 

When diplomacy induces these European protectionist 
countries to refrain from directly prohibiting frozen meats 
from Australasia or South America, or advancing the duties 
to a point which would stop imports, they can easily pass 
regulations, nominally to protect the public, which achieve 
the end that the interests opposed to meat imports have in 
view quite as effectually as if the goods were barred by statute. 
On this point, there may be quoted the opinion of the late 
Mr. William Cook, who had very considerable experience in 
trying to persuade the Continentals to take Argentine meat. 
" Going to France was a mistake," said he. " So inveterate 
is the protective policy of the Continentals that if the import 
of frozen mutton and beef cannot be checked by existing 
arrangements and ordinary means, other and extraordinary 
ones will be resorted to." 

An important point to take into consideration is that before 
frozen meat can be imported in commercial quantities into 
the important European cities, well-equipped cold stores will 
have to be built ; there are only enough stores now to accom- 
modate a hand-to-mouth trade. 

Customers in the East. 

From its geographical position the continent of Australia 
enjoys a peculiar advantage over its two rivals, New 
Zealand and South America, in undertaking to supply the 
East with frozen meat. Directly it dawned upon merchants 
and freezing works managers that London prices would 
certainly fall to very unremunerative levels unless other 
markets could be found, they sent commercial travellers in 
various directions to get orders. " Farther Ind " was explored 
in 1893 by a commissioner, who reported unfavourably. Mr. 
John Cooke ten years later had special inquiries made about 


Eastern countries generally, and, as nothing further followed, 
presumably no good tidings were brought back. There has 
been much vague talk of getting frozen meat into India, 
China, and Japan, in all of which countries only the white 
population might be hoped for as customers, and their numbers 
are limited. The natives, where they are not entirely vegetarian 
in diet, are too poor to buy imported meat. It is suggested 
that the Indian Government might with advantage import 
frozen beef for the Mussulmans so as to save the friction set 
up between them and the Hindoos when the former slaughter 
cattle for food. The only definite commitment in Eastern 
parts was that of the Queensland Meat Export Co. in investing 
capital in a local meat and storage company in Singapore, 
with premises at the Tanjong Pagar Dock. Though the 
enterprise, as far as the Queensland Co. is concerned, has not 
brought many shekels to the shareholders, the Singapore 
white population must have benefited. "If we get good, 
honest, prime-fed Australian beef and mutton instead of the 
stringy Calcutta and Bangkok stuff we have to put up with, 
the better for everybody in Singapore," wrote the Singapore 
Free Press many years ago. 

Three years ago Australia's " customers in other lands " 
were receiving 40 per cent, of her meat exports, chiefly to 
the Philippines, the Cape, and Malta, and this may well 
account for the fact that Australia has been at times since 
the beginning of the century unable to keep pace with New 
Zealand and Argentina in regular shipments to the United 

Wars Stimulate the Trade. 

The Australian meat exports to the Philippines, Malta, 
Egypt, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, and Singapore, are largely 
for the supply of military garrisons. Some proportion of the 
total exports go to great maritime junctions, such as Colombo 
and various Japanese ports, for the supply of the mail steamers, 
and hotels entertaining European visitors. For troops, either 
in the field or in garrison, frozen meat has come to be a necessity, 
and in no direction has the refrigerator been so fruitful of benefit 


aa to masses of soldiery. Supplied in pre-refrigeration days 
u it h the " cattle of the country " in which the military opera- 
tions were being conducted, or with preserved foods, moving 
jinnies are now provisioned from a convenient base with fresh 
frozen beef and mutton, a dietary system enormously to the 
benefit of the soldiers, and one much more easy for the com- 
missariat to organize by means of contracts made ahead. The 
I'.ntish-Boer war in 1901 1903 was a sensational epoch in 
the history of the frozen meat trade. 

Cold Storage in South Africa. 

Cold storage in South Africa had, in connection with the 
supply of meat to the troops in the Boer war, and the events 
that followed, the main impetus towards its present stage of 
development. A concise statement has been made in the 
Pastoraliste' Review by Mr. R. H. Harrowell as to the growth 
of public cold storage in South Africa. Cold storage, 
this writer says, was first introduced into South Africa by the 
old Dutch firm of Combrinck & Co., who established plants at 
Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Pretoria, 
and Bloemfontein. This firm was floated, about the year 1898, 
into the South African Supply and Cold Storage Co., Ltd., 
which, in the capacity of meat contractor to the British Army 
during the early stages of the late Boer War, accumulated a 
reserve fund of 1,000,000, after paying big dividends. The late 
Cecil Rhodes, with the assistance of the Johannesburg mining 
houses, formed the Imperial Cold Storage Co., Ltd., with plants 
at Cape Town, Kimberley, and Johannesburg. The new 
company was successful in taking away the military contract 
from the company, but worked it at a loss of about 
350,000 per annum. The main source of profit being thus 
lost to the South African Supply and Cold Storage Co., it was 
determined to float another company and transfer to the new 
concern a portion of the assets of the old one. 

In 1901 the South African and Australasian Supply and Cold 
Storage Co. was formed, taking over the business of the South 
African Supply and Cold Storage Co. at Cape Town, Pretoria, 


and Bloemfontein, and the remainder of the assets, comprising 
shares in the companies at Port Elizabeth, Durban, and 
Pietermaritzburg, were taken over by the Cold Storage Trust. 

The Cold Storage Trust, Ltd., has its registered office in 
London, but is practically controlled and directed by interests 
in Cape Town. This company controls the following subsidiary 
undertakings : Port Elizabeth Cold Storage and Supply Co., 
Ltd., Pietermaritzburg Cold Storage and Supply Co., Ltd., 
Sparks and Young, Durban and Johannesburg, and has some 
interest in the Rand Cold Storage and Supply Co., Ltd. 

On the conclusion of the war in 1902 the Imperial Cold 
Storage Co., Ltd., amalgamated with the South African and 
Australasian Supply and Cold Storage Co., and the business 
was floated under the name of the Imperial Cold Storage and 
Supply Co., Ltd., and a new plant was erected at Durban, and 
subsidiary companies were formed at East London and Johan- 
nesburg for the same purpose. The capital of the reorganized 
company was 1,750,000, in 1 shares, in addition to a 6 per 
cent, debenture issue of 500,000. The share capital was 
cut down by one-half in 1906, and was further reduced in 
1911 to 201,000, at which figure it now stands. 

The Imperial Cold Storage and Supply Co., Ltd., with its head 
office in Cape Town, has cold storage plants at Cape Town, 
Durban, Kimberley, Bloemfontein, and Pretoria, and con- 
trols subsidiary undertakings operating at East London and 
Johannesburg, trading as the East London Cold Storage 
and Supply Co. and the Rand Cold Storage and Supply Co., Ltd., 

Professor Wallace's Statement. Professor Robert Wallace, 
who has written a great deal on stock and agricultural questions 
relating to British settlement in South and East Africa, writes 
to the authors as follows : 

" South and East Africa are essentially stock, and not 
agricultural, food producing countries, and when people begin 
to realize that European cattle are not suitable for the natural 
conditions which prevail in those quarters without such a 
liberal supplement to the natural food which would be pro- 
hibitive in cost, they will breed animals with constitutions 


that \\ill withstand tin- climatic conditions, and produce large 
quantities of beef of Beconcl-grade quality and suitable to the 
local demand. South and Central Africa is a black man's 
country, and the white population is not likely under prospec- 
tive conditions to increase at such a rapid rate as would 
require a large amount of prime beef. All I can say is, if South 
Africa is unable to produce as much meat as the people 
require, it will be the farmers' own fault, by allowing the 
country to remain unfonced so that epizootic diseases may 
continue, as in the past, to ravage the flocks and herds, or by 
persisting in the impossible attempt to introduce highly-bred 
European cattle under climatic conditions which are inimical 
to them." 

Manila and Vladivostock. 

Australia's export of frozen meat mainly beef to Manila 
dates from the placing of the American garrison in the Philip- 
pines in 1898. Queensland, whence the meat is shipped, 
commands this trade on account of her geographical position. 
A yearly contract is made between the American military 
authorities and the Queensland Meat Export Co., and the other 
freezing companies in Queensland take a share in it ; 7 cents 
per Ib. gives a rough idea of the price. The 1910 contract was 
valued at 12,000; 3,000 carcasses of lamb, 5,000 carcasses of 
mutton, and 250,000 Ibs. of beef, plus pork and rabbits, being 
supplied. It is understood that the business is cut rather fine, 
but the Manila contract has proved useful to the Australian 
meat men in providing an avenue for the disposal of a respect- 
able quantity of frozen beef during dull years. 

The market at Vladivostock came with a rush in 1906, and 
in that and the following year over 9,000 tons of Australian 
beef found its way to the Siberian port. The negotiations 
were first opened in 1898, when a cablegram was received 
by the New South Wales Minister of Agriculture asking if 
700 tons of frozen beef could be sent to Vladivostock. The 
business was mostly negotiated in London by agents of 
the Russian Government, and considerable competition 


between suppliers marked its developments. In 1908 the 
shipments fell off, owing to the port being supplied from 
North China with live cattle, which were slaughtered at Vladi- 
vostock and chilled on board three refrigerator steamers. 
These Vladivostock contracts were also connected with the 
supply of meat for the troops. 

The Mediterranean. 

An important section of Australian exports of frozen meat, 
representing meat supplies for the British garrisons in Egypt, 
Malta, and Gibraltar, remains to be touched on. 

Messrs. Wills and Co., Ltd., started refrigerating stores at 
Port Said early in the nineties, capable of holding 200 tons of 
produce ; from the depot the requirements in the way of meat 
of the passing mail boats and the small European population 
were supplied. At that time the Army contracts at Cairo and 
Alexandria were for native mutton at about 4d. per Ib. The 
thing to do in Egypt was to secure this Army custom for frozen 
meat, and this has now been done. Practically all of the trade 
falls to the Australian shippers, and since 1905 Egypt has been 
an important buyer. 

About 1894 the British Government made up its mind to 
feed the garrisons at Gibraltar and Malta upon frozen meat. 
They had the necessary cold stores erected in 1895 at those 
Mediterranean strategic points, and ever since the military 
forces there have had the benefit of the nutritious diet furnished 
by beef and mutton grazed on the plains of Australia. 
Mr. C. A. Lichtenburg, head of Messrs. Wills and Co., Ltd., 
took an important part in getting frozen meat into Malta, 
where it is partly used for the civil population, and his firm 
has held the contract since the trade was introduced. Allusion 
may be made to the grievance of which frozen meat importers 
in Malta rightly complain, namely, the differential import 
duties on live cattle and dead meat. These pressed unfairly 
on the latter, and the Australian Agents-General have had to 
appeal to the Imperial Government on several occasions to 


get the grievance redressed. In 1908 an ordinance was intro- 
duced into the Legislative Council of Malta to reduce the 
duty on frozen meat from 10s. per 175 Ibs. to Is. 3d., but the 
elected members unanimously opposed it, and as the Imperial 
Government did not feel inclined to overrule the elected 
members, the matter dropped. The Gibraltar contract for 
frozen meat concerns the troops only. It was first held by 
Messrs. Wills and Co., and since 1906 it has been in the hands 
of Messrs. Thomas Borthwick and Sons, Ltd. The contract 
is for about 500 to 600 tons a year. 

There are certain harassing conditions attached to the 
Gibraltar contract. The vessel with the meat must go to the 
Mole, and the contractor has to take the risk of conveying the 
goods up to the store in the Rock. It is well to mention that 
these and other British Government frozen meat contracts 
are open to American shippers, the preference to British 
suppliers, alluded to before, having vanished in fact, the 
River Plate houses have shared in the business to a small 
extent. Australia has to secure the business by competing in 
the open market, but having a preponderating advantage in 
being able to despatch meat by the vessels sailing to England 
through the Mediterranean, she is in a position to secure the 
whole of the Mediterranean trade. 

To Sum Up. 

Exports of frozen meat, present and potential, to " Other 
Lands " divide themselves into four sections, as detailed above. 

First, there is the European Continental market, so far 
almost virgin soil, about which in the past anticipation and 
realization have widely diverged. Is it too much to hope that 
\\hrn a less conservative spirit pervades German official 
circles, the much needed supplies of frozen meat may be per- 
mit ted to be imported? The opinion of practical men who 
studied the question is that, in the cases of manufacturing 
countries unable to grow all their own foodstuffs like Germany 
barriers of the unreasonable kind which now prevail will be 
removed. Only now are European countries reaching that 

L'.M. B 


economic stage attained by England a generation ago, namely, 
that the absolute limit of the productiveness of the land in 
relation to the population has been passed, and the only alter- 
natives presented to these nations are reduced feeding or impor- 
tation. The powers that be may fight as they please against 
the new demand, but the cry for plentiful food is bound to be 
listened to in the end, which is not far off in European 
countries, and is approaching even in the United States of 
America. In view of England's experience, the Continent has 
no excuse for prejudice against frozen meat based on inex- 
perience. But prejudice against it is, undoubtedly, cultivated 
by the land-owning and ruling classes. Unless scientists find 
unexpected grounds for discarding frozen meat on its merits, 
this barrier must fall. 

Secondly, there is the demand from the peoples of the Far 
East. About this the obvious suggestion to make is that the 
present moderate demand will grow according to the develop- 
ment of industrial enterprise in Japan, China, and India. 
This demand has been disappointing so far, but when the new 
industries of China and Japan get into their swing, the importa- 
tion of refrigerated meat supplies should follow ; the plains 
of Queensland, grazing excellent beef and mutton, are but a 
few weeks away from Eastern centres, and the future will, 
doubtless, see a large volume of trade passing. 

Then, thirdly, there are the Government contracts for 
military stations, British, American, etc. The dimensions 
of this avenue can pretty well be measured, and frozen 
meat supplies passing along it are likely to remain fairly 
constant whilst the nations are at peace. Wars of the 
future will cause a great stir in the trade, and the 
subject constitutes a supplementary division in this list of 
" Customers." 

Fourthly, there remain South and East Africa, and 
about these the observation has to be made that Cape 
Colony and Natal are rapidly becoming self-supporting 
through the development of agricultural and pastoral 
industries. Except for casual and speculative shipments to 
Cape Town and Durban, such as took place in 1910 and 1911, 


and the arising of abnormal conditions, the demand for 
ralian refrigerated produce is likely to die down. Old 
residents in South Africa say that they are not at all certain 
that the States named will not have to draw upon the Common- 
wealth of Australia for foodstuffs in the future, but others 
lay emphasis upon the view that South Africa will one day 
take a place among meat exporters. It may here be suggested 
that Madagascar, where there are cattle of a secondary grade 
available for export, may bo drawn upon for the needs of the 
white population of East and South Africa, should these 
districts require meat imports in the future. A freezing works, 
fitted with Haslam machinery, has lately been erected on the 

The holding back from the market of supplies of fat cattle 
in the United States of America, and the consequent heavy 
reduction of beef products, a tendency which first became 
noticeable in 1907, enabled Now Zealand meat to be experiment- 
ally exported from Liverpool to New York in 1910. Frozen 
mutton and lambs were despatched; and although an import 
duty of 1 J cents per Ib. had to be paid, the meat was sold at 
a profit at 2 cents per Ib. under the price of native mutton. 
This small trade was stopped by the authorities demanding 
veterinary certificates in a form which, not being necessary 
for the British market, had not been provided. 

The Beginning of the End. 

The position on the Continent at the latter part of 1910 and 
during 1911 with regard to meat supplies for the people became 
acute owing to pronounced shortage of locally produced meat. 
S rums disturbances took place in Austria and France, with 
riots causing loss of life. Throughout the more important and 
thickly populated countries of the Continent the communities 
rebelled against the monstrously high prices for butchers' meat 
they were called upon to pay, and the mob in Vienna shouted 
" Give us frozen moat." The war against the agrarian parties 
was officially declared in October, 1910, when the Austrian 
Government gave permission for 25 tons of Argentine frozen 

i. 2 


beef to be brought into the country : this declaration of war 
is a modern day crossing of the Rubicon. The signs of the 
times cannot be mistaken. Notwithstanding the difficulties 
which were placed in the way of South American and Austral- 
asian exporters of frozen meat during 1911, it is plain that the 
agrarian obstructionists are weakening, and that with a little 
more pressure from the people the Government will have to 
relax the prohibitive regulations in force. 

Summarizing what has occurred since the historic 25 tons of 
beef, referred to above, made entry into Vienna, it appears that 
after a fair run for the Argentine beef, permits of entry into 
Austria for which were given up to June by the Government 
for 3,000 tons, the agrarian party in that country again 
got the upper hand, and in July, 1911, the Austrian Minister 
for Agriculture announced that no further imports of frozen 
meat would be allowed to enter the country. Some months 
later the populace of Vienna were rioting on account of " dear 
food," and in September some speculative shipments of Argen- 
tine frozen beef were made in anticipation of Austrian official 
relaxation of the prohibition to Trieste. That prohibition 
was not withdrawn, and the meat was mostly sold in Italy 
and Switzerland. 

From Germany little can be expected until the leaven 
of the 1912 general election has worked. Switzerland in 
1911 was a customer for a limited quantity of Australian 
frozen meat ; there are some difficulties of transport of frozen 
meat to Switzerland to be overcome, but during the summer 
tourist season it is certain that the Swiss market will call for 
a certain quantity of frozen meat. 

One Continental country, Italy, presents most favourable 
prospects for the South American and Australasian shippers of 
refrigerated meat and dairy produce. There is no disposition 
on the part of the authorities to block imports, and the duty 
can be easily met. A great deal of frozen beef has reached 
Genoa during the last eighteen months, and the principal 
exporting houses and their London agents have been making 
the closest inquiries in Rome, Naples, Milan, and the other 
principal Italian cities, with a view to the securing of contracts . 


In the autumn of 1911 several importing house* in London 
began to open up business on the Continent . France especially, 
with small trial shipments of frozen mutton, prepared in accord- 
ance with the regulations prevailing in the countries to which 
the sheep were dispatched, and both in Argentina and Austral- 
asia, and London, arrangements were being quietly made in 
the closing months of the year for the coming Continental 
campaign. The Compafiia Sansinena de Carnes Congeladas fixed 
up a contract for monthly supplies of mutton with an 
importer in Havre, and the quartering of the carcasses, 
required by the French law, takes place in the bonded cold 
store of that city. It is possible that in France the restrictions 
upon the importation of frozen meat will be abolished, or 
modified, but that the duties will remain. 

Readers are referred to Appendix III., which gives in tabular 
form the estimated output of the world's freezing works in 
1910, and shows the exact value of "Customers" outside the 
United Kingdom to the frozen meat trade as a whole. 

It only remains to be said that at no stage in the history of 
the frozen meat trade have its prospects as regards new outlets 
shown such a tendency to widen as at the present moment, 
and even between the times of the writing and publishing of 
the present volume new business may appear for refrigerated 
meat shippers. This is as it should be in the case of a trade 
which is still in its early youth and full of vigour, and the 
reader will, therefore, rest content with deriving from this 
chapter a more or less coherent idea of how this world-wide 
expansion of the trade came into being. 



MANY allusions to the chilled beef industry are scattered 
throughout this book, but it is in every way desirable that a 
chapter should be devoted to this branch of the refrigerated 
meat trade. The Americans, who started their export dressed 
beef trade to England in 1875, have always avoided complete 
congealment of the meat, depending at that early date upon 
the cooling power of freezing mixture in tanks aboard ship to 
maintain their cargoes at a chilling temperature. In 1874 
a few parcels of hard frozen beef were shipped, as mentioned 
on p. 13. M. Tellier in his Frigorifique experiment in 1876 
and 1877 held the meat at a temperature of 32 F. 

That chilled beef as a marketable article is superior to 
frozen beef is unquestionable, and the only reason why the 
South American frigorificos did not adopt this way of preparing 
their beef for the British market prior to the beginning of the 
twentieth century lay in their assumption that their chilled 
beef could not be placed on the London or Liverpool market in 
sound condition. It was thought that the " life " of chilled beef 
was strictly limited to about fifteen to twenty days, and that 
the limit was prohibitive to an industry being carried on where 
thirty or forty days elapsed between slaughter of the beeves 
and the marketing of the beef. The same lion in the path 
blocked anything more than the experiments which are referred 
to later on in this chapter with regard to Australia and New 
Zealand. With the improvement of refrigerating machinery, 
rendering practicable the holding of beef in ships' chambers at 
an unvarying temperature, the chances of the chilled beef 
trade between Argentina and the United Kingdom became 
more promising ; and with the adoption later on of a scientific 
system of sterilization it was proved that the dreaded mould 


spot could be prevented, and, further, that beef could be 
brought to London even from far distant Australia in a chilled 
condition and placed on the market in good order. 

Frozen beef has certain advantages as to ease of marketing ; 
it can be stored without suffering deterioration, and it bean 
handling better than chilled beef. But there end the points 
that can be urged in its favour in comparing it with chilled. 
The chilled beef industry stimulates the bringing to a high 
degree of excellence the cattle of the country which makes 
the shipments of the article, for the primest beef is required 
for chilled exports. Chilled beef enters a high-class retail 
trade, where the demand is more regular and prices higher 
than for frozen beef. Chilled beef, to be sure, suffers terribly 
in its wholesale value when the market is glutted, and its 
prices on such occasions are apt to fall below those of frozen 
beef. But the chilling process does far more justice to good 
meat than does freezing, and it is difficult to avoid holding 
the view that the great bulk of supplies of refrigerated beef 
for Great Britain in the future will ultimately be carried at a 
chilling temperature. Chilling mutton, by the way, has never 
proved successful. The few experiments that have been made 
in this direction have been far from encouraging in their 
results : for one thing the fat of chilled mutton always becomes 

In the nineties, a period of unrest and development in the 
frozen meat trade, the first attempts were made to bring meat 
from Australia and New Zealand at a chilling temperature. 
The earliest experiment was that initiated by the late Mr. J. H. 
Geddes, whose friends shipped 1,000 quarters of beef in the 
8.8. Port Pirie from Sydney on August 21, 1894. Dr. Shiels' 
" thermostat " was used to regulate the temperature of this 
cargo, a Linde refrigerating machine supplying the cooling 
power. The " thennostat " consisted of a system of tubing 
filled with spirit and hermetically sealed. By contraction or 
expansion of the agent, under the influence of temperature, 
the " thermostat " controlled the action of the refrigerating 
machinery and regulated the supply of cold air in the meat 
chambers, thereby maintaining a uniform temperature. The 


meat in the Port Pirie had to be frozen down during the voyage, 
so that experiment failed. The second, third, and fourth 
trials to bring chilled beef to England from Australasia were 
made in 1895. The Gothic brought in two successive 
voyages from Wellington 2,000 beef quarters consigned to 
Messrs. Thomas Borthwick and Sons, the " thermostat " 
being used also in these trials. 

These shipments were the first serious attempts, showing an 
appreciation of the advisability of introducing the chilling 
process into the Australasian meat export trade, made by 
English capitalists on a commercial scale. The beef which was 
thus treated was carried at 28| and 29 F., and was landed so 
lightly frozen as to be fairly described as chilled. A certain 
degree of success was achieved, but the financial results were 
not sufficiently favourable to induce further shipments from 
New Zealand, because, as Messrs. Borthwick reported, the 
quality of the beef was not up to chilling standard. The 
s.s. Rakaia later on brought 500 hindquarters from Brisbane, 
but the experiment was a failure, as the beef had to be frozen 
after being forty-nine days on board. 

In the annual frozen meat review of Messrs. W. Weddel 
and Co. for 1895, that firm suggested that in connection with 
the bringing of chilled beef from Australasia " it will probably 
be found that only by sterilizing the atmosphere of the 
refrigerating chambers can the meat be kept sound for a 
sufficiently long period " a theory which was not practically 
tested till 1909. A fifth attempt was the shipment of a 
few quarters in 1896 in the s.s. Urmston Orange from 
Bowen, Queensland. This meat had been dipped in oil prior 
to shipment to prevent the formation of mould ; in no sense 
could this beef compare with American chilled on arrival, so 
this trial was also a failure. 

Nine years passed, and in July, 1905, 1,200 quarters of beef 
were shipped in the s.s. Tokomaru from Dunedin, New Zealand, 
by the New Zealand Refrigerating Co. The shipment should 
have been made by the s.s. Mataiua, which had a specially 
suitable system of refrigeration, but the Tokomaru was 
substituted, and various causes made the voyage a long one, 

TIM-: ( mi i i.D 1:1 r.r IK \m -M 

and it ended disastrously in the seizure of the meat by the 
Port Sanitary Authority in London. When the cargo wan 
<>)><-ned up, it was found that block mould had set in. This 
experiment was baaed upon the fact that beef had been kept 
.uml condition in the works for six or seven weeks at 
chilling temperature, but like many other experiments it 
failed because it ignored the crucial question of how to 
prevent the development of mould spores deposited upon the 
beef at the time of shipment. As no insurance could be 
effected, the venture resulted in total loss, not even the 
boiling down value of the beef being returned by the 
Authority ! 

Argentina's entry into the chilled beef trade was in 1901, 
in which year 40,000 cwts. were exported to Great Britain. 
The River Plate Fresh Meat Co., who were its pioneers, had for 
eighteen months previously been quietly experimenting. They 
fitted the s.s. Zuleika with a chamber to carry 500 quarters, 
and made three consecutive successful shipments in that boat 
the beef selling at Id. per Ib. more than frozen, for hinds 
before making arrangements with the Royal Mail Co. It was 
the improvement in Argentine cattle stock which largely 
contributed in making chilled beef such an acceptable article 
of food as it is to-day, and it must therefore be recognized that 
a great factor in the development of the Argentine refrigerated 
meat trade was this intelligent action on the part of enter- 
prising estancieros, who in fact began this reform nearly 
half a century ago. The River Plate chilled beef trade has 
developed rapidly. In 1901, when 40,000 cwts. were imported 
from Argentina into Great Britain, the imports from the 
Inited States amounted to 3,180,291 cwts; in 1910 Great 
Britain imported 2,710,747 cwts. from Argentina and only 
469,444 cwts. from the United States. It will be noted that 
the total trade fell off in the nine years. 

It was in 1908 that the chilled beef industry became un- 
doubtedly a successful trade as far as South American shippers 
were concerned. In that year the reduction in exports to the 
United Kingdom from Chicago, etc., of live cattle and dressed 
beef was about 40 per cent., and this was Argentina's oppor- 


tunity. Everything suggests that the South American 
Republic is to be the great beef producing country for Great 
Britain ; and the American " Beef Trust " people evidently 
are the strongest holders of this opinion. 

Very extensive and serious losses from mould have occurred 
to shippers of chilled beef from the Argentine Republic during 
the ten years in which the trade has been built up, and for 
years following the start of the industry. The loss accruing 
from the seizures by the sanitary authorities at English ports 
and markets became a pressing problem to shippers and 
importers. For years it was practically impossible to get full 
insurance cover for this article in transport, and, where obtain- 
able, underwriters sometimes charged prohibitive rates, five 
or six guineas per cent. This state of affairs set people think- 
ing. If the fungus germ on the meat surface could be destroyed 
and the atmosphere of the ship's chamber kept sterilized, the 
mould trouble might be scotched. It may be well to state 
here that Dr. Klein, Lecturer on Advanced Bacteriology at 
St. Bartholomew's Hospital, and one of the highest authorities 
on these questions, having made an exhaustive examination 
in June, 1909, of the " black spots " on some Argentine chilled 
beef, reported that " the fungus not being able to thrive at a 
temperature of the animal body (98 F.) no pathogenic action 
could be expected. ... It is obvious that the material of the 
black spots^is harmless to the animal body." But it should be 
noted that this avoidable mould defect has now been almost 
entirely removed, and, in the case of some companies, 
altogether eliminated. Many men worked at this scientific 
problem, and Mr. J. A. Linley patented a sterilizing system 
named after him and set up a small experimental plant 
in the Southampton Docks cold stores. The first shipment 
under this system arrived in London in September, 1907, by 
the s.s. Guardiana 1,059 quarters of beef, which were landed 
in excellent condition, bright and dry. The English rights of 
the patent were then taken over by the Improved Chilling Co., 
whilst the South American Improved Chilling Co. exploited 
the process in Argentina. 

The Linley system is thus described. First, the sterilizing 


agent ifl evaporated by heat and driven by means of 
fans through ducts into the chambers or rooms, wherein 
the meat is to be hung, and there circulated. This vapour has 
the effect of destroying any bacteria that may be on the 
surface of the walls of the chamber. The chamber is again 
charged when filled with meat, which is, of course, extremely 
liable to gather the microbes in the course of butchering and 
preparation for shipment. After the vapour has been 
allowed to remain in the meat chamber for at least an hour it 
is driven off. The ship's hold and the beef loaded in it are 
similarly treated. The second stage consists of an apparatus 
designed for drying and purifying the atmosphere. The air 
of the chamber or room containing the produce is passed 
through two tanks, the first one containing sticks of chloride 
of calcium, which remove the major portion of the moisture, 
the atmosphere then being passed through into a secondary 
tank in which rotate discs of lead kept moist with sulphuric 
acid. This latter operation gathers the remainder of the 
moisture from the atmosphere and also removes any organic 
impurities. Under this second system of drying and cleaning 
nothing enters the chamber or the ship's hold but air cleaned 
and dried. It will be seen that this treatment permits of appli- 
cation to the meat after slaughter, to the cold chamber before 
the meat enters, and to that chamber also when the meat 
is stored. The apparatus is simple and comparatively inexpen- 
sive, and both the vaporizing and drying plant may be 
combined on a common bed-plate, and both are actuated by 
a ventilating fan, and can be worked independently. In the 
No. 1 process commercial formaldehyde is vaporized in the 
plant at a temperature of about 300 F. The evaporation 
takes some fifteen to twenty minutes, and one ounce of com- 
mercial formaldehyde to every 100 cubic feet of the gross space 
is the amount of chemical used. In the case of a store the 
charged gaseous atmosphere is allowed to remain some three 
or four hours, and it is then replaced by pure, dry air supplied 
under No. 2 system, that is, air which has been passed in the 
apparatus over chloride of calcium and lead discs rotating in 
commercial sulphuric acid. The system thus provides a 


complete process of sterilization, and is at once scientific and 
practical, having been taken advantage of by several of the 
big Argentine shippers. Nearly 400,000 quarters of chilled 
beef have been brought to the United Kingdom under the 
process, the machinery for which had been at October, 1911 
fitted in four frigorificos, and on 19 vessels. 

Taking advantage of the facilities offered by the Linley 
process, in which, it should be mentioned, Messrs. W. Weddel 
and Co. have throughout taken a keen interest, Messrs. John 
Cooke and Co., of Australia, sent over to London in 1909, 
1910, and 1911 five experimental shipments of chilled beef 
from their Redbank works, Brisbane, in all 6,484 quarters, in 
the Aberdeen Line s.s. Marathon, in which the owners had 
installed the necessary Linley apparatus, in addition, of 
course, to the refrigerating machinery. The first of these 
trial shipments arrived in London in November, 1909, after a 
passage of sixty-two days from Brisbane, the cargo consisting 
of 1,181 hindquarters and 150 forequarters. The Queensland 
Meat Export Co. participated in these shipments, and the 
Queensland Government lent its aid in the form of a guarantee. 
Three shipments arrived in London in the following year. The 
condition of the beef in three of these four trials was excellent, 
and it sold readily at prices averaging rather more than d. 
per Ib. above the rates current for Australian frozen beef of 
similar quality. In one case the condition of the beef was 
imperfect, owing to the use of unsatisfactory meat wraps. 
These trials, resulting so favourably, proved that chilled beef 
can be brought from Australia or New Zealand to the English 
market, and that under the Linley sterilizing process it can be 
delivered in sound condition even after a seventy days' 
passage. But these small trials ceased in 1911, and the special 
plant was removed from the Marathon. The support given to 
the enterprise of the firms named by the Queensland graziers 
lacked the thoroughness which was necessary for the con- 
tinuance of the operations. 

In 1911 an experiment on a small scale under the Nelson- 
Dicks-Tyser process was tried successfully. The s.s. Muritai 
brought from New Zealand 70 quarters of beef which were 


marketed in excellent condition. But the process is too 
expensive for further shipments to be made. 

1 1 is satisfactory for the Australian and Now Zealand cattle 
graziers to know that they are not excluded from the chilled 
beef markets of the United Kingdom, and that with direct 
transit, and larger and more regular supplies of beef of the 
high-grade quality required for the chilled trade available 
hipment, there is no reason why Australasian chilled 
beef should not cross the ocean and enter into competition 
in the English market with that from South America. 
Until Australia and New Zealand take up this trade, one may 
say that the various interests composing the export meat trade 
there have fallen short of the full development of the industry. 



WHILE the frozen meat industry with all its ramifications 
needs to be studied separately in a number of its phases for the 
reader to gain a clear idea as to its operation, it is only a running 
account of the progress of the great trade as seen from the point 
of sale or consumption which can indicate with any coherency 
the importance attaching to the many developments in the 
history of the industry. Hence an attempt is made in the 
present chapter to show the evolution of the struggle which 
has arisen on the part of the three competing producers, 
Australia, New Zealand, and Argentina, to market their frozen 
meat supplies, each working out the problem on its own system. 

The story of the beginnings of the trade has already been 
told. Australian frozen meat was first imported into Great 
Britain in 1880, New Zealand in 1882, and Argentine in 1883. 
Up to 1910 the respective totals of sheep and lambs stood 
thus : Australia, 27,824,820 ; New Zealand, 72,464,591 ; 
South America, 53,463,982 a grand total of 153,753,393 

The following figures show the growth of the frozen meat 
trade, and the relative position of the suppliers to Great 
Britain, from 1885, when all three countries were hard at it, 
to 1910: 










New Zealand. 


South America. 





























































Australia's Part. All three of the countries mentioned 
were well bet at their task of export by 1884 1885. But 

so MM \MTI.\YOKTIIY I\HI>I.NTS : isso 1910 255 

even at that early date Australia the pioneer was handi- 
capped by her erratic shipments. Whilst her two competitors 
forged ahead well, Australia's exports were most disappointing ; 
by 1889 both New Zealand and Argentina had reached their 
million carcasses of sheep and lambs, but Australia only shipped 
86,000 in that year. 

However, in the year 1890 a move was made, and by 1895 
Australia was sending 1,000,000 carcasses to the English 
market. After 1896 the great drought, which culminated in 
1902, began to tell, and Australian exports gradually fell 
away, till in 1904 the total amount of mutton and lamb 
.-hipped to Great Britain was under half a million carcasses. 
From 1905 Australia has been again exporting on an increasing 
scale to England. One reason to account for the falling off 
just referred to in Australian shipments of mutton and lamb 
to England was the demand springing up at South African 
ports, Manila, and the Mediterranean, and, to a less degree, in 
the East. Australia is favourably placed geographically for 
supplying these countries, and, indeed, has customers for her 
frozen meat in many lands. 

For many years after Australia started exporting Great 
Britain was her only customer, but war works potent changes 
in this trade. The war in South Africa, the conquest of the 
Philippines by the Americans, as well as the demands of the 
British garrisons at Malta and Gibraltar, drew off a tremendous 
quantity of Australian meat from the English market. In 
1902 Australia exported 19,690 tons of frozen mutton and lamb, 
of which only 8,510 tons were sent to Great Britain. The 
pioneer shipment of frozen meat made in 1879 by the s.s. Strath- 
leven, and selling on Smithfield at from 4W. to Qd. per lb., 
included beef, and this meat for about ten years was shipped 
very irregularly from the various States of the Commonwealth. 
In 1893 shipments rose to 10,350 tons, owing to the beginning 
ot t he Queensland Meat Export and Agency Co.'s operations. 
From that point to 1901 the yearly imports averaged 21,300 
tons. The drought then dominated the position, and up to 
Australia almost dropped out as a regular and large 
supplier of frozen beef. But in 1909 Australian beef again 


became a factor to reckon with. Australian beef, as a matter 
of fact, has been going everywhere but to England ; in 1902, 
whilst South Africa absorbed 23,905 tons of Australian frozen 
beef, only 3,290 tons were imported into the United Kingdom. 
Though Australia took fifteen years to get to her first million 
of sheep and lambs shipped in the twelvemonth, she quickly 
went ahead of New Zealand and Argentina in beef shipments 
when the Queensland works started. From 1893 to 1899 
Australia (nine-tenths were from Queensland) exported 160,000 
tons of beef to Great Britain, the combined contributions of 
New Zealand and Argentina only amounting to 41,000 tons for 
that period. 

In 1884 Sydney beef was sold for 6d. a Ib. at Smithfield. 
Some bone-taint trouble affected early shipments a fault, 
unfortunately, that frozen beef (not Australian alone) is 
occasionally subject to now, depending as it does partly upon 
atmospheric conditions at time of slaughter. In 1890 
Queensland beef of " magnificent quality " was imported, 
though a disappointing set-off to this item was the decision of 
the War Office not to allow frozen beef to be supplied, although 
frozen mutton was permissible, in Army contracts. The view 
of the War Office was tersely put by Mr. Lawson, Director 
of Contracts (in 1893) : " We find the beef suffers from freezing, 
and the soldiers do not care for it" a dictum afterwards 
found to be greatly wide of the mark. The restriction was 
removed many years ago. 

To proceed with the bare chronological record forming a 
running account of the trade, in 1883 10,000 carcasses of 
Australian mutton were thrown overboard at the Straits of 
Magellan when the s.s. Sorrento was beached there. In the 
following year the average weight of frozen Australian sheep 
was 62| Ibs. To celebrate the opening of the campaign of the 
Queensland Meat Export Co. in exporting beef to England, 
a banquet was given at the Hotel Metropole, London, on 
January 27, 1893. A distinguished company were present, 
and Queensland frozen beef, prepared by the hotel chef, formed 
the piece de resistance. 

High Water Mark and After. From 1896 to 1899 was 


Australia's high water mark for both mutton and boof, for 
later her frozen exports waned, and there was no question of 
competition in quantities with the River Plate shippers. Shops 
at Hamburg were opened in 1894 for the retailing of Queens- 
land beef, which article came along so heavily up to 1899 
that holders had to combine to sustain prices. About 1896 
Australia enlarged her clientele ; the Cape, Colombo, Port Said, 
( i i l>ra 1 tar, and Malta became customers. The freight on frozen 
mutton from Sydney to London was reduced to \d. per ll. in 
1896. In 1897 the London cold stores were congested. The 
question of faulty cargoes became acute in 1897. South Africa 
was buying heavily at this time from both Australia and the 
Argentine, Vladivostock bought Australian beef in 1905, and 
this trade continued for a few years. By 1902 Australian beef 
had sunk to a shadow of its former bulky proportions in British 
markets, and by 1907 the South African demand for refrigerated 
produce had practically ceased, the Cape imposing a duty of 
Id. per Ib. on Australian and \\d. on Argentine frozen meat ; 
the duty on foreign meat is now ld. The Transvaal has not 
imposed any duty. 

Australia first took hold of the lamb trade seriously in 1899, 
and surprised British importers by shipping 233,000 carcasses 
in that year, a two-thirds increase on the exports of 1898. 
From that time onwards lamb shipments from Australia 
increased at the rate of about 100,000 a year until 1903, when 
the drought caused a 50 per cent, reduction. But in 1905 an 
enormous expansion set in ; out of 1,368,000 carcasses imported 
in that year 910,000 were lambs. From then onwards Austra- 
lian shippers have steadily extended their lamb trade, receiving, 
however, a check in 1908. But the seasonal import of this 
article, December to March, is now one of the recognized 
features of the frozen meat trade, and Australian lambs are 
constantly becoming a more important feature in the English 
market. In 1911 1,650,000 carcasses were imported into the 
United Kingdom. 

New Zealand's Progress. As has already been said, the 
progress made by New Zealand in her frozen meat exports has 
from the very early days been fairly uniform and uninterrupted. 



Nevertheless, the big jump up to be noted in 1903 was followed 
in 1904 by a setback almost as considerable, and exactly the 
same features were noted in the import figures for 1907 and 1908. 
But the expansion of the New Zealand mutton and lamb 
imports, as the freezing works in the Colony increased and as 
the demand in Great Britain developed, has been very satis- 
factory, though market prices were at times so low that curtail- 
ment of shipments seemed inevitable. The importance of the 
lamb trade was foreshadowed by the fact that the first steamer 
with frozen meat brought 449 lambs out of a total of 3,970 
carcasses, and in the earliest days of the trade frozen lamb made 
Id. per Ib. above mutton prices. But one can have too much 
of a good thing, and in 1889 the market was glutted with 
New Zealand lamb. In 1893 New Zealand lamb went through 
the first of the crises to which it has been subject more than 
once in the autumn months, after the summer trade is gone. 
It receded to 3d. per Ib., a price below the price which was 
then current for New Zealand mutton. In the following year 
mutton experienced a slump, a record low market price of 
2d. per Ib. being quoted. Prime Canterbury mutton fell to 
3d. per Ib. in 1895, and in 1897 another serious crisis in the 
lamb trade occurred in September. The whole decade 1890 
1900 was one of struggle and trial in the frozen meat trade : 
problems came up for settlement, and as organization and 
precedent were lacking in many departments, there was a 
good deal of trouble before things settled down. Damaged 
cargoes constituted the most serious question. In 1898 20 per 
cent, of the cargoes from New Zealand were more or less 
damaged, and conferences between shipowners and importers 
were held. Damaged cargoes fortunately are now practically 
a thing of the past, and in chronicling this feature which 
disfigured the transit arrangements of the period referred 
to, it is pleasant to note the excellent record of the vessels 
conveying chilled and frozen meat from Australasia and 
South America. 

In 1903 the Seddon shop scheme was promulgated and 
caused much excitement and feeling on Smithfield Market. 
About the end of the previous year, a splendid one for 

SOMI vnr. \YMHTFIY iNrmi-ATS: i MHO 1910 

n meat importers, prime Canterbury mutton had touched 
6|rf. per Ib. In 1903 New Zealand tried a direct shipment 
to Cardiff, and in 1906 freight arrangements were definitely 
made with the Federal Lone for regular sailings to the 
west coast of England. This service is running now, and 
is carried on by the vessels of the Federal-Shire-Houlder 
combination. By 1908 the shipments of boned frozen beef 
in boxes from New Zealand assumed large proportions. This 
meat was from dairy and other cattle of a light weight, and was 
mostly shipped to Glasgow to be used for " minced collops " 
and in other ways. During the year to July, 1908, 3,500 tons 
of this beef were exported from New Zealand, valued, f.o.b. 
cost, at 66,000. Under the regulations of the Public Health 
Act of 1907, port and market inspectors in Great Britain 
received additional authority from January 1, 1909, and the 
importation of boned beef in boxes was rendered practically 
impossible because inspectors found it difficult to examine 
the separate pieces of meat when frozen hard in a box. 

New Zealand, with herds of cattle chiefly devoted to dairying 
and, therefore, not permitting any great shipment of beef, has 
been an erratic exporter of this article. About 1899 she raised 
the scale of exports, and for a few years placed over 100,000 
quarters on the English market per annum, the high water 
mark being in 1910, when 344,000 quarters were handled in 

Great Britain. 

Early Prices for New Zealand Meat. As already men- 
tioned, the pioneer shipment from New Zealand was that by 
the sailer Dunedin, and the mutton brought by this vessel was 
delivered in sound condition and sold for \d. per Ib. During 
the first few years of the trade it was not all plain sailing, as 
some cargoes were brought in unsatisfactory condition, and 
two years after the Dunedin'a arrival prices for New Zealand 
mutton at Smithfield had dropped to 4Jd. to 5d. per Ib. As 
early as 1883 the practice of the consignees of distributing New 
Zealand meat throughout Smithfield was inaugurated. The 
year 1885 was one of severe trial, and the growing trade had 
to struggle against adverse influences, mainly low prices. In 
1886 the Colonial and Indian Exhibition proved helpful, as 

8 2 


the opportunity was taken of organizing a prominent exhibit 
by which the public were favourably impressed. 

The second shipment of mutton brought by the Dunedin, 
in 1883, made Id. to 8d. per lb., which, as far as records go, 
was high water mark in rates. " If unfrozen," the chronicler 
states, " the meat would have topped the market." In 1884 
New Zealand mutton was 4|d. to 5d. per lb., and beef (hind- 
quarters) at one time touched 6%d. to 6fd. per lb., against 
American town-killed (sides) 5\d. to 6^d. per lb. The 
average weight of New Zealand sheep imported in 1884 was 
65J Ibs. 

Rise of South American Exports. The first arrival of 
Argentine frozen meat in London was in 1883. Both the 
mutton sent and the market prices it fetched were very poor 
at the start ; the carcasses were almost lamb-like in proportions. 
But by 1886 a considerable improvement had taken place in 
the type of sheep exported. In 1884 River Plate mutton was 
making 3d. to 4d. per lb. ; in that year the average weight of 
the frozen sheep was 48 Ibs., 15 Ibs. less than the Australian. 
In 1887 a trade with the Continent of Europe was attempted 
by the Argentine companies, depots at Antwerp and Havre 
were established, and in 1891 100,000 carcasses were sent to 
France. By 1888 Argentina, in volume of exports and by her 
excellent trade methods, showed great strength in competing 
with importers of Australasian frozen meat in Great Britain. 

Argentina's Success. On an average Argentina shipped 
about 5,000 frozen lambs a year up to the end of the nineties. 
For the next six years her shipments averaged 150,000, and in 
1909 South America became a factor in the lamb trade in 
Great Britain with an export of 634,000 carcasses. In 1911 
the total shipments to England exceeded 1,000,000. Argentina 
was a long time making headway with beef shipments. For ten 
years after the establishment of freezing works frozen beef was 
quite a minor department of her business ; the meat works were 
constructed for dealing with sheep, and the live cattle trade, 
which began in 1890, rapidly grew to large proportions and 
proved a useful avenue for the disposal of a part of River Plate 
surplus stock. This, by the way, was the year in which the 

SOMF NMTKWMimiY IM'IIM NT<: 18801910 61 

export of live sheep also started, with 22,000 head, which grew to 
306,000 in 1895 without causing any scarcity of freezing sheep. 
By 1896 Argentina was, in frozen beef exports, becoming a com- 
ix -i it or with Australia, and in 1900 Argentine imports into Great 
Britain jumped to 20,600 tons, exceeding for the first time the 
receipts of Australian beef. This sudden increase was brought 
about by the stoppage of the live cattle trade. Having onoe 
secured the lead, Argentina went ahead fast, Australia falling 
behind as rapidly as her rival advanced. By 1901 River 
Plate frozen beef formed two-thirds of the total imports of this 
meat into Great Britain, and soon it was a case of Argentina 
lir-t , and the rest nowhere. Imports of frozen and chilled beef 
in 1910 into Great Britain from South America were 252,922 
tons, from Australia 44,034 ions, and from New Zealand 
27,641 tons. In Chapter XVII. will be found detailed 
reference to the progress of the Argentine chilled meat trade. 

Argentine Advance. As early as 1893 an experiment in 
the export of chilled beef was tried ; by 1901 this hod become 
a regular trade. It took some time to secure a footing in 
English markets, but when the initial difficulties were over- 
come butchers soon took to Argentine chilled beef, and in 
course of time it proved a severe competitor of North 
American chilled beef, which has now nearly disappeared from 
the market. Roughly speaking, North American chilled beef 
has been marketed at Id. per Ib. above Argentine chilled, 
which in its turn may be put at from %d. to Id. per Ib. above 
Argentine frozen beef. 

For some years previous to the beginning of this century the 
Argentine meat companies had been quietly adapting their 
plant and general arrangements to increased handling of 
cattle for freezing. So thoroughly did they take in hand 
their new enterprise, that from 1900 to 1908 over 75 per cent. 
of the frozen beef imported into Great Britain was from 
South America ; and the competition of Argentine chilled 
beef with the North American dressed beef the choicest dead 
meat that England imports became very keen. The rapid 
development of the beef export business of the Argentine 
Republic stands out as one of the most sensational features of 


the meat trade. It should perhaps be mentioned that the 
year 1902 was an annus mirabilis for the River Plate com- 
panies and their shareholders ; Sansinenas paid 50 per cent., 
and James Nelson and Sons paid 50 per cent. The dividend 
paid by the River Plate Fresh Meat Co. was only 25 per cent., 
but earlier in the year a distribution of the accumulated reserve 
fund was made to the shareholders by way of bonus. The bulk 
of this reserve fund had, of course, been accumulated out of 
previous years' profits. The shareholders were immediately 
asked to put this 100 per cent, bonus back again into the com- 
pany in the form of capital, so that it really amounted to 
capitalizing the reserve fund. Of course, this splendid year 
was followed by the Nemesis of competition, and a crop of new 
freezing concerns sprang up under the stimulating effect of the 
golden showers of 1902. 

Frozen Pork. From 1903 the imports of fresh pork into 
Great Britain declined ; in that year the total imports were 
705,844 cwts. (Holland 527,269 cwts.), and by 1906 the 
quantity was reduced to 492,171 cwts. Seizing this oppor- 
tunity, Australia and New Zealand shipped frozen pigs to 
help fill the gap. In 1906 20,779 cwts. of frozen pork were 
received from Australasia, and the goods were welcomed at 
Smithfield market, and were sold fairly profitably. But it 
seems that the enterprise is not a paying one for the shippers 
unless the home market is under supplied, for after 1906, when 
the Dutch pork was again exported freely, supplies from 
Australasia fell away to an inconsiderable quantity. In 1910, 
only 11,000 cwts. of frozen pork were exported from Australasia 
to Great Britain, but pork is too expensive an article for the 
Australian and New Zealand freezing works to handle for 
export unless the shipper can expect a London market price in 
the neighbourhood of 5d. per Ib. 

Vitality of the Canning Trade. With the advent of frozen 
meat in the eighties, canning meat became of secondary import- 
ance, and this method of handling stock has been resorted to 
in Australia during the last thirty years, mostly as a collateral 
to a freezing works, in dealing with the less prime parts of 
slaughtered stock. But at some works all the carcass is tinned. 

SO .MK NOTEWORTHY IN< 1 1 >i:NTS: 1880 1910 863 

In 1905 Queensland developed her exports of tinned meat very 
heavily : there was a big glut of these goods in stock in Great 
11. also of extract of beef, and prices went down to a 
ruinous level. A large proportion of this canned meat was of 
interior <|uulity, and in December, 1895, as low a price as 13*. 
per dozen (Mb. cases (2Jd. per Ib.) was accepted. Tallow was 
selling as low as 20s. per cwt. at that time. The decennial 
figures of imports of canned meat into the United Kingdom 
may be given for the last thirty years : 



Nw ZaUnd. 

South America. 








28,4 22 


Uruguay 191,538 cwta. 

Random Jottings: 18901908. 

Having considered the progress of the trade in connection with 
the separate developments of New Zealand, Australia, and 
Argentina, it may now be well to sketch leading historical 
events that embrace all three sections. In the nineties 
difficulties and problems presented themselves in England as 
imports increased ; in 1892 France established frozen meat 
import regulations, requiring that certain organs should be left 
in the carcass, which practically closed the markets of that 
country to shippers. Another obstacle to opening up the 
inent for frozen meat was raised in 1905 by Germany 
advancing the import duty on meat by 50 per cent. Early 
in the nineties selling prices became lessened, and it was plain 
that to make profits the costs of production and realization of 
frozen meat must be lowered. 

In 1894 the London cold stores were blocked for nine months, 


and vessels were kept on demurrage as floating stores : Queens- 
land beef was then arriving in large quantity. In that year 
the working capacity of the London stores was 500,000 car- 
casses, stowed to marks, and there were 100 vessels engaged 
in the trade. By 1895 the capacity of the London stores had 
risen to 1,000,000 carcasses. The British Government built cold 
stores in the Mediterranean to make the supply of frozen meat 
for the troops possible. By 1898 English cold stores got well 
ahead of requirements, and the " refrigerated fleet " numbered 
131 vessels. Frozen rabbits by 1899 became a menace to the 
cheaper kinds of frozen mutton, and in the following year 
19,000 tons were imported into Great Britain. In 1899 beef 
was first shipped from Australasia with jute bags over the 
calico wrappers. In 1901, the heyday of the Australian 
exports to South Africa of refrigerated produce, there were 
twenty- two cold stores in the latter country. 

Owing to the scarcity of New Zealand mutton for some 
months at the end of 1902 and the beginning of 1903, 120,000 
carcasses of chilled mutton from North America were imported 
into England, the mutton being sold from 3%d. to 4|d. per Ib. 

Contrasting Systems. The main difference between the 
Australasian and Argentine sale systems in Great Britain is 
the direct outcome of the fact that the Argentine companies 
have their head or branch offices in London. This is the case 
with most of them, though the Smithfield and Argentine Meat 
Co., the South American Export Syndicate (Rio Seco), Com- 
pafiia Frigorifica de Patagonia (San Gregorio), and the Vene- 
zuela Co., transact their business through agents. But in the 
historic periods of the Argentine frozen meat trade, 1883 1902, 
during which the industry was in the making, the whole system 
was exceedingly compact. The three great companies bought 
their stock, froze the meat, shipped it in vessels owned or 
chartered by themselves, and landed and sold it in Great 
Britain. The Sansinena Co. and the River Plate Fresh Meat 
Co. distributed and sold their meat through the usual whole- 
sale channels, whilst Messrs. James Nelson and Sons relied 
mainly upon their shops. The c.i.f. selling system was intro- 
duced when the La Plata Co. sent its meats to England, but 

\mi WOKTHY I \CIDKNTS: 1880-1910 65 
the sale of its works in 1907 stopped this method of doing 

Tin- Now Zealand and Australian systems were essentially 
clinVrent from those of the Argentine. Up to a comparatively 
recent time all frozen meat from those countries was either 
consigned to brokers or agents in London for sale on commission, 
>r \vas sold outright to English c.i.f. buyers. The opening of 
London offices by the Christchurch Meat Co. marked a new 
departure ; another system was introduced by English capital- 
ists. .Messrs. Thomas Borthwu-k and Sons, Ltd., r>tul)lishing 
offices in New Zealand, and buying and shipping their own 
meat, and, later again, acquiring their own meat works in 
New Zealand and Australia. Messrs. W. and R. Fletcher, Ltd., 
acquired freezing works at Geelong, Victoria, in 1901, and 
Moinrri. Henry S. Fitter and Sons have had an office at Christ- 
church, New Zealand, for many years. 

Producers' Conferences. A survey of the various movements 
undertaken for the advancement of trade interests reveals the 
repeated formulation of schemes of various kinds intended to 
improve the conditions of the trade, the product of ingenious 
I > ruins in Australia and New Zealand and elsewhere. In the 
River Plate trade, where frozen meat interests were concen- 
trated, one does not hear of such things ; but so many people 
are concerned in the Australasian meat export business that 
divergent views as to the management of a crisis have from time 
to time necessitated conferences and the submission of special 
proposals. It may be interesting to record four of these 

In 1887 the first conference was held, and on October 18 of 
that year the following firms and gentlemen met to consider 
" combined action amongst consignees of New Zealand mutton 
to support prices " : Nelson Brothers and Co., Ltd. ; Miles 
Brothers and Co.; John Bell and Sons; Shaw, Savill and 
Albion Co., Ltd. ; New Zealand Shipping Co., Ltd. ; Gear 
Meat Preserving Co., Ltd. ; P. Comiskey, T. Russell, F. Lark- 
worthy ; New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Co., Ltd. 
A scheme to regulate supplies, limit prices, and concentrate 
sales was considered and rejected. 


A New Zealand Scheme. On September 5, 1893, at the 
request of the agricultural and pastoral societies, a conference 
was called by the New Zealand Government of delegates 
representing the^sheepowners and freezing companies of the 
Colony, and this was held at Wellington and numerously 
attended. The meeting was summoned to discuss certain 
schemes presented by Messrs. D. J. Nathan and M. C. Orbell, 
and the following resolutions were put before the conference : 

1. " That the present methods of conducting the frozen meat 
trade being unsatisfactory and unprofitable to the sheep farmer, 
it is desirable that a controlling company representing the 
various interests concerned be formed for the purposes set 
forth below : 

" (a) To arrange for the amalgamation, buying-out, or federa- 
tion of existing freezing companies. 

" (b) To negotiate with shipping companies as to freights and 
kindred matters. 

" (c) To inspect, report, and act, as to the suitability and class 
of ships employed in the trade, and in regard to the insulation, 

" (d) To attend to grading and insurance, watch the unloading 
in London, arrange for storage accommodation near port of 
discharge, and thus enable supply to be regulated, also save 
many handlings and cost of barges and delays caused thereby. 

" (e) To arrange for the concentration of the trade in Great 
Britain and elsewhere, and to open up new distributing centres. 

" (/) To issue debentures for the purchase of existing works, 
new plant, or establishing other works, and for raising the 
necessary capital. 

" (g) To provide a sinking fund for the repayment of deben- 

2. " That, in order to achieve the objects set forth in the fore- 
going resolution, this conference desires the Government to 
introduce a Bill empowering such company to levy tax upon 
all sheep in the Colony. Shares to be allocated to each stock- 
holder in proportion to the total amount of his paid-up sheep 

After a long debate the resolutions were withdrawn, and the 

>o\li: N< m:\VollTHY l\( I Dl .NTS: 1880-1910 267 

following ones, proposed by Mr. A. C. Begg, of the New Zealand 
Refrigerating Co., were adopted : 

1 . "In the opinion of this conference any attempt to estab- 
lish a monopoly of the frozen meat industry of the Colony 
would be both undesirable and impracticable." 

2. " That, in order to give confidence to buyers and to secure 
as far as possible good quality of the meat exported, it is desir- 
able that the freezing companies in the Colony should agree to 
a uniform system of grading, as far as consistent with due 
regard to local conditions." 

3. " That, in order to regulate the supplies to the home 
market, and to prevent the glut which has been occasioned by 
excessive shipments during the first half of each year, it would 
be very advantageous if provision were made for storage 
accommodation in the Colony, so that supplies sent forward 
may be regulated and any glut prevented." 

This conference marked one of the stages of development of 
the meat export trade of New Zealand. From 1889 to 1894 the 
average price realized by prime Canterbury wether mutton at 
Smithfield Market had fallen to the following rates : 4fd. per lb., 
4|d., 4fd., 4Jd., 4|rf., and 41^. these were top quotations. 
The flockowners in the Colony became alarmed about the 
future, and schemes and plans without end were put forward 
to effect improvement in the conditions, locally and in England, 
under which the frozen meat industry was carried on. It 
is curious that the practical (positive) outcome of a confer- 
ence called to sanction a revolutionary and visionary scheme 
should have been the acceptance of two such businesslike 
methods as standardized grading and local storing, neither of 
which has yet been effectually carried out ! 

Two London Conferences. In September, 1897, a desperate 
slump occurred in the lamb trade. The chief holders met on 
September 22, and a declaration of stocks (200,000) held by 
them was made. In March, 1898, a series of meetings was 
held in London and attended by these firms for the purpose of 
considering the lamb position, which had again become acute. 
These conferences, under the auspices of the Frozen Meat 
Trade Association, were considered to have checked the " rot " 


which had set in. Skipping forward a decade, allusion may be 
made to one more meeting of the trade. That was on May 4, 
1909, when Sir Montague Nelson invited all leading importers 
of frozen mutton, Australasian, South American, and North 
American, to discuss the position an exceedingly dismal one 
of over-supply and under-demand. Nothing came of this 
conference except a useful exchange of views. In the market- 
ing of Australasian frozen meat it has often been necessary 
to attempt to secure combined action, either in limiting 
quantities offered or in fixing minimum prices ; but such 
movements have rarely been completely successful owing to 
the number of holders and their widely divergent interests. 

Mr. Twopeny's Mission. One of the most authoritative and 
well-supported movements engaged in by meat exporters was 
the formation in Sydney in September, 1896, of the Australian 
Meat Export Association. Mr. R. E. N.Twopeny was appointed 
delegate to visit London for the purpose of forming a committee 
of the London representatives of Australian pastoral interests 
to supervise the disposal of Australian meat in the United 
Kingdom. Mr. Twopeny succeeded in forming the committee, 
which sat for some months under the presidency of Mr. E. T. 
Doxat. The committee recommended that there should be 
a regulation of supplies of meat by agreement amongst the 
freezing companies, and also that a limitation of the number 
of consignees in the United Kingdom was desirable. Mr. John 
Cooke was somewhat in opposition to the London committee 
scheme, holding that " our first duty in the Colonies is to set 
our own houses in order by shipping only first-class meat, and 
arranging for its transport and delivery in first-class condi- 
tion." Although Mr. Twopeny carried out his mission in first- 
rate style, the London committee failed to send prices upward. 
The British Australasian of March 11, 1897, thus alluded to 
the matter : " It is apparent that what has occurred has been 
one of those occasional deviations from established usage 
prompted by the pressure of depressed conditions of trade. 
Ten Anglo-Australian merchants and bankers have been 
discussing academic problems, such as the c.i.f. trade, concen- 
tration of shipments, etc., at a round table, and still we are no 

SOME NOTEWORTHY isvihi.vrs: 18801010 209 

nearer a solution of the one important problem how to raise 
prices to a permanently paying level." 

Regarding these conferences connected with the frozen meat 
trade, whether of producers in Australasia or of importers and 
merchants in London, one cannot gather that much in tho 
shape of practical results attended them. A healthy inter- 
change of views took place, but the clashing of interests, both 
at producing and selling point, to be expected in a trade where 
there is such keen competition, has hitherto stood in the way 
of the acceptance of proposals involving uniformity of action. 

Meat Marking. The Select Committee of the House of 
Lords appointed on August 25, 1893, with the late Lord Onslow 
as its chairman, to consider the marking of foreign and colonial 
produce, issued a voluminous report. The Merchandise Marks 
and the Sale of Food and Drugs Acts had not been completely 
satisfactory in stopping misrepresentations and dishonest 
trading. Bills advocating the marking of imported meat and 
(or) the licensing of retailers of the same have, of course, been 
before Parliament ever since the refrigerator became a factor 
in meat supplies. The Committee's Report has become a 
classic, and much valuable literature bearing on the retail 
vending of imported meat is to be found therein. The Com- 
mittee, whilst reporting that the consumer would benefit by 
the marking of meat, did not show any enthusiasm in recom- 
mending compulsory meat marking ; but they were agreed 
that marking could be done satisfactorily. A metal tag paved 
through the shank bone of legs and shoulders, and sealed, was 
suggested in the case of mutton. Aniline dyes were not 
approved on account of the lack of permanence of the mark. 
The Committee reported clearly in favour of the registration 
of the retailers of imported meat and the affixing of a notice 
to that effect over their shops. The evidence placed before 
the Committee showed that misrepresentation in the (retail) 
meat trade existed, chiefly in the substitution of American 
lulled beef for English and Scotch. The Report said : " It 
does not appear that retail butchers habitually inform their 
customers of the source of origin of their meat. The usual 
is to supply such quality of meat as is likely to meet 


with the approval of the customer without giving any actual 
guarantee of origin." That " usual practice " still prevails. 
But the Committee had cases before them of gross fraudulent 
sales, the most glaring of which was " The Old Established 
Welsh Mutton House " in the Strand (until ten years ago), 
where New Zealand mutton, the retail value of which was Id. 
per lb., was sold as " Welsh " at IQd. A witness stated : " I 
have seen ' Prime Canterbury ' stuck above a shop that had 
nothing but River Plate mutton in it." 

False Trade Description. Allusion may be made here to an 
episode in the history of the New Zealand meat trade. The 
Government of that State has always been careful to safe- 
guard the interests of its meat exporters. In 1900 the Agent- 
General in London determined to institute prosecutions of 
retailers against whom a clear case could be brought of passing 
off inferior meat as New Zealand produce. " New Zealand " 
and " Canterbury " as terms had got to be well known and 
liked, and so unscrupulous retailers were in the habit of apply- 
ing them recklessly. The matter was first put to the test by 
Mr. H. C. Cameron, the New Zealand Government's Produce 
Commissioner in the United Kingdom, bringing proceedings 
against a Blackpool butcher for applying a false trade descrip- 
tion to a leg of mutton which the defendant sold to him on 
March 16, 1900. This and similar cases were taken under the 
Merchandise Marks Act, 1887, under which measure for a 
prosecution to be successful it is necessary that the " false 
description " shall be in writing. The magistrates dismissed 
the case, but the High Court sent it back to them, and the 
retailer was convicted. Other prosecutions were brought 
afterwards on similar grounds, and the New Zealand Govern- 
ment went to considerable expense and trouble to put a stop 
to this fraudulent practice, which, if persisted in, might well 
have injured the high reputation of the Colony's produce. 
In 1905 the New Zealand Government in conjunction with the 
London County Council summoned a meat salesman for apply- 
ing the labels of the New Zealand Refrigerating Co. and other 
New Zealand labels to Australian lambs supplied under contract 
to some of the London County Council asylums as New Zealand 

SOM1 VtlTWMKTHY I \( I DKNTS : 1MSO_1<)10 271 

lambs. This case was under the same Act and on the same 
indictment. On the evidence of the prosecutors, there was 
about Hd. to 2d. per Ib. difference in value between the two 
descriptions of lambs. The defendant was fined 20 for having 
in his possession the goods falsely described. A " hair-pin "of 
the kind then used to pin down Australian lambs' tails at the 
time of freezing played no small part in the evidence against 
the loser. Another conviction was secured in 1907 on much the 
same grounds ; in this case Argentine meat was supplied under 
contract in place of the New Zealand article. 

That the substitution of frozen meat for the home- 
grown article in the retail trade does not prevail as largely 
as is thought by many people is proved by the relatively 
low wholesale values for the former. Undoubtedly, some 
people buying " Canterbury " mutton and lamb think they 
are getting meat produced in the English Canterbury district, 
such is the magic ring of the trade description " Prime 
Canterbury." Salesmen say that the Canterbury brand will 
sell anything. That improper misrepresentation takes place, 
and constantly, no one can doubt. Each grade is substituted 
for tho one above ; American chilled beef for Scotch, Canter- 
bury meat for home-grown, and Australian and Argentine 
mutton (to a diminishing extent) for New Zealand. The persons 
who have a right to complain are the English and Scotch 
farmers, who feel to some extent in restricted values the effect 
of the substitution of the imported article for their home-raised 
meat. The consumer, too, has certainly good reason to find 
fault with his butcher, though the number of those who will 
not admit the excellence of the quality of the chilled beef and 
frozen mutton and lamb is becoming less and less. The 
admitted and open sale of "town-killed" beef for En. 
that is to say, at " English " retail values, is an unjustifiable 
practice, pressing hard upon the home producer in England. 
One of the reasons to account for the popularity of the live 
le trade with the carcass butchers is the profit which they 
make in buying American cattle landed at English ports and 
retailing this " town-killed " beef as home-grown. There 
was a case in the English High Court in October, 1908 (British 


Tea Table Co. v. Gardner], in which Mr. Justice Ridley made 
this remark : "I understand English beef to be beef bred 
and killed in England. One might as well call the English 
soldiers killed at the battle of Waterloo ' Belgians.' ' The 
judge referred in terms of disapproval to the plea that " town- 
killed " is recognized by market custom as English meat. 

Mr. Edward Lloyd, master butcher, of Chester, gave evidence 
before the Marking of Foreign Meat Committee on June 27, 
1893, and the following paragraphs from the Report are 
instructive : 

Lord Onslow (Chairman) : "You assert that if a purchaser went into a shop and 
asked where the meat [Birkenhead-killed American cattle] came from he would be 
told that it came from England ? " 

MV. Lloyd : " Yes, in 99 cases out of 100. Scotch bullocks they call them often 

Lord Onslow : " That which is bought a penny a pound cheaper wholesale is 
sold at the same price as that which is bought at a penny a pound dearer ? " 

Mr. Lloyd : " Exactly." 

Lord Onslow : " And therefore the purchaser and the consumer have to pay more, 
and the butcher makes a great piofit ? " 

Mr. Lloyd : " Exactly." 

The Scotch and English graziers are the principal victims, 
for were the American beef sold as " American beef," the 
public, to some extent at least, would not buy it, however good 
it might be. 

The above remarks have not the force to-day which they 
possessed some years ago, for North American exports of 
both fat stock and chilled beef to Great Britain have very 
considerably fallen off of late. Also it is well to say that, as 
Argentine and Australian mutton have so greatly improved 
and advanced relatively in price, there is not now so much 
temptation for the retailer to substitute these meats for New 
Zealand as there was some years back but there is a readier 
opportunity ! 

The most recent appeal to the law to invoke penalties for 
selling as New Zealand mutton meat which, as alleged by the 
prosecutor, the New Zealand Government, was of Australian 
origin, was tried in the Liverpool Police Court in May, 1911. 
The defendants were shipping merchants, and they sold to the 
Allan Line a quantity of mutton marked with the " Crescent " 
brand of the New Zealand Refrigerating Co. The contract 

SOMK \<>T1.\\<)KT11Y I V IDI.YI-: 1880-1910 J73 

was for New Zealand mutton, and the prosecution suggested 
the meat was Australian. The " Crescent " brand has 
not been used since the New Zealand Refrigerating Co. was 
11 over by the Christchurch Meat Co. in 1906, but tin- 
magistrate ignored that, and only applied himself to the point, 
had Australian mutton been substituted for New Zealand ? 
hi ( .inducting a case of this kind the prosecutor is fighting a 
lone hand, and to provide the necessary array of witnesses is 
far from easy. The magistrate held that no primd fade 
case had been made out, and dismissed the charge, but 
without costs. 

Rise and Fall of North American Beef Export Trade. 
When beef was first exported from the United States of 
America (1874), cattle numbered 27,000,000. The stocks 
rose year by year until 1892, by which time the 1874 figures 
had increased to 54,000,000 a 100 per cent, increase. The 
population in 1892 had expanded to about 65,000,000. From 
1892 cattle statistics report a falling tendency down to 1900, but 
in 1901, owing to altered methods of " enumerating," an extra- 
ordinary jump upwards from about 44,000,000 head of cattle 
in 1900 to 62,000,000 occurred. The high-water mark of 
cut tie in the United States of America was in 1907 with 
72,500,000. If the appendix dealing with imports of fresh 
beef is consulted, it will be seen at a glance how important 
have been supplies of beef under refrigerated conditions from 
the North American meat works. Up to the end of 1909, from 
the beginning of imports from all supplying countries, imports 
from the United States of America of chilled beef exceeded in 
quantity the supplies from South America and Australasia put 
together, frozen and chilled beef. In 1901 there were imported 
into Great Britain over 150,000 tons of chilled beef from North 
Aim-rica, and from that point the demands of the increasing 
|io|> in the exporting country began to tell, and in 1911 
only 8,720 tons were despatched to Great Britain, with a 
:'-ncy to further serious curtailment. 





IN the compilation of a record of an industry with so many 
ramifications as the frozen meat trade, there is necessarily 
difficulty in assigning a proper position in the story to many 
side issues which have to be dealt with. A chapter of mis- 
cellanea is almost inevitable, and the following items of interest 
are, without apology, given, regardless of their heterogeneous 

Congress of Refrigeration. 

It is generally recognized that the campaign to secure markets 
for frozen meat among the countries of the Continent of Europe, 
a fight only now proceeding slowly to its more hopeful 
stages, has had a valiant protagonist in the International 
Congress of Refrigeration. The Premier Congres International 
du Froid was held in Paris in October, 1908, and nearly 4,000 
delegates, from forty-three countries, attended this successful 
gathering, which was organized by a French engineer, the late 
M. J. de Loverdo. The international movement has done much 
to stimulate an industry which, because of its special character, 
had previously lacked the stimulus of combined action within 
its ranks, and for this, as well as for the wide publicity gained 
for commercial refrigeration, M. de Loverdo, with his initiative 
and organizing genius, is principally to be thanked. His death, 
which took place on January 12, 1912, was felt to be due in 
some measure to his tremendous labours for this cause. At the 
Paris Congress 174 papers were read, and among the numerous 
resolutions carried were several bearing upon the subjects 
treated in this book. Two of them may be given. Mr. T. A. 
Coghlan, Agent-General in London for New South Wales, had 
devoted his attention at the Congress to the modification 
or abolition of regulations hindering the import of refrigerated 


produce into any country, in the interests of cheaper food, 
and his resolution, aa accepted, was as follows : 

" That the Congress expresses its opinion that in order to 
reduce the cost of living to the working-classes, and to promote 
international trade, regulations which hamper the introduc- 
tion into any country of frozen or chilled produce, and the 
storage, distribution, and sale of such produce in any such 
country, should be modified or abolished." 

The other resolution (which was carried) was one proposed 
by Mr. Gilbert Anderson : 

" That, in view of the large expansion of the trade in refri- 
gerated products, it is desirable that an international uniform 
standard of meat inspection be established and agreed to by 
the various countries exporting and importing animal foods so 
as to ensure the healthy condition of the meat." 

Although no immediate action was taken with regard to 
this resolution, M. de Loverdo rather more than a year before 
his death proceeded to organize an International Meat Inspec- 
tion Conference, to which it is still hoped the Powers may be 
officially invited by the French Government to send delegates in 
1912. This is a great step in the right direction, and it is felt 
that the discussion of the subject among expert delegates of both 
meat producing and consuming countries may do much to con- 
vince the latter that the high standard of inspection ruling in 
the British exporting countries is a strong argument for the 
removal of the barriers that are now raised against this trade. 
It will, 'doubtless, be the policy of British producers to ask 
European delegates their highest demands as to an inspection 
standard, and then to satisfy those demands as far as their 
exports are concerned. 

The veteran refrigerating engineer and inventor, Charles 
Tellier, whose pioneer work is recorded elsewhere, was present 
at the Paris Congress, and was accorded a great ovation. 
As an outcome of the Congress the Association Internationale 
du Froid was formed, besides which it was decided to hold a 
second Congress in Vienna two years later and further Con- 
triennially. The British organization of these Con- 
has been conducted by the Cold Storage and Ice 

T 2 


Association, the scientific body in the United Kingdom repre- 
sentative of the refrigerating industry. 

The Second Congres International du Froid was held in 
Vienna in October, 1910. Governmental representatives of the 
meat exporting countries were well to the fore, and Sir William 
Hall-Jones, High Commissioner for New Zealand, moved the 
following resolution, which was carried unanimously in full 
Congress : 

" That, subject to every reasonable regulation to ensure 
sound and perfect condition, restrictions operating to prevent 
the introduction of refrigerated meats and other food products 
into countries whose inhabitants would benefit by their addition 
to their food supplies, should be abolished or modified." 

At the Vienna Congress it was decided to hold the Third 
Congress in America in 1913, and Chicago has been fixed upon 
as the centre for these meetings on September 15 to 20 of that 

Lord Bacon's Frigorific Experiment. 

It is reported that as early as in 1816 three Esquimaux 
were the forerunners of the commercial pioneers of sixty- 
four years later. They brought frozen ptarmigan and other 
game to Harwich packed in air-tight cases. They had 
to pay 50 duty and 10 for carriage, but this produce from 
the frozen North sold well. Back farther, to 1626, we come 
to the incident, which no conscientious chronicler can 
neglect, in which Lord Bacon fell a victim to his praiseworthy 
endeavours to open up the frozen meat trade. Here is the 
biographer's statement : 

King James died in 1625. His unfortunate and ill-requited Chancellor (Bacon) 
survived him for little more than a year. Always in feeble health from his youth, 
his life was finally sacrificed to an experiment. He believed that decomposition 
might be prevented by freezing (then an original idea), and he determined to 
ascertain, experimentally, if he was right. Therefore, one cold spring morning he 
drove to Highgate, alighted, bought a fowl at a neighbouring cottage, and stuffed 
it with snow which lay on the ground around him. By the time this operation 
was finished he felt greatly chilled, and sought warmth and shelter at Lord 
Arundel's house, which was near at hand. Here he was gladly welcomed by the 
household, given warm cordials, etc., and was put into a damp bed(!). From this 
fatal hospitality he never recovered ; and he seems to have been aware that he was 
in great danger, for he wrote to his absent host, comparing himself to the elder 
Pliny, who lost his life by too near an approach to Vesuvius when watching a 


terrible eruption, )>ut adding that his own experiment had ended "excellently 
well." A forcr and cold on the lung* closed the career of one of the greatest 
Englishmen one week afterward*. He died on Batter morn, Oth April, 1620, at the 

;. ..f ;>;. 

Let the reader note that it was not refrigeration but a damp 
bed which ended the career of Lord Bacon. Many people 
think his frigorific experiment brought the fatality. 

Nor must the mammoth be lost sight of ! During the last 
fifty years mammoths have been dug up in Siberia and their 
flesh found in excellent condition, after preservation for who 
knows how many centuries. Only the other day came the 
story from Russia of certain men of science who cooked and 
ate part of a mammoth found encased in ice in Siberia. 
Curiously enough, the Life of Bishop Ridding, which has lately 
been published, tells of a similar banquet. It was at the 
Westminster Deanery, whither, in his undergraduate days, 
Frank Buckland sometimes carried off young Ridding to 
partake of the trying hospitality of his father, the Dean. 
" His sideboard bristled with fossils, and his tables groaned 
under meats of which his guests ate sparingly. ' That was 
mammoth soup, made from the bones of a mammoth encased 
in Siberian ice from prehistoric times ! ' the host triumphantly 
informed his guests one day after they had eaten it." 

South Africa as a Possible Meat Exporter. 

The export of frozen meat of late years has been adopted 
in an experimental style in various countries which are 
not in the ordinary way on the list of suppliers to the 
British markets. One or two small lots of beef and lamb 
have arrived at Smithfield, London, from time to time 
from South Africa, Natal particularly. The venture probably 
has been undertaken more to test the quality of the 
Natalians' stock than with the idea of establishing a regular 
Inisiness. However, it tends to show that British South Africa 
hopes to supply herself with beef and mutton. Mr. Francis 
Harrison, the Acting Trades Commissioner for the Union of 
South Africa, communicated the following account of a tiny 
;nmcnt of beef from Cape Colony that arrived in London 


in the summer of 1910 : " The South African beef in question, 
consisting of a carcass weighing 126 stones, realized tyd. per Ib. 
The quality of this South African consignment was reported 
by Smithfield to be, if anything, superior to that of 
the beef from other countries, although some few improve- 
ments were suggested in the matter of dressing, and the 
recommendation was made to ship younger cattle hi the future, 
and, if possible, in a cooled state, instead of being frozen hard." 

Frozen Beef from St. Helena. 

The unexpected happened when the import of a parcel of 
frozen beef (8 sides) from this island into London occurred in 
1909. The Imperial Government are adamant, as a rule, to 
applications for subsidies or assistance for commercial purposes, 
but the authors learn that on behalf of the struggling farmers 
of this Crown Colony, the Government of Great Britain 
extended a helping hand in the way of supervising and assisting 
the small shipment of beef, which, unfortunately, realized an 
unremunerative price for the consignors. 

Argentine Meat at 18d. an Ounce. 

A startling incident occurred in 1910 at the Palermo Inter- 
national Fat Stock Show, held on July 15. Nothing more 
remarkable is chronicled in this book than the contest 
between the Las Palmas frigorifico and La Plata frigorifico 
for the possession of a bunch of five Hereford steers owned by 
Messrs. Duggan Brothers. A world's record was established 
when the La Plata people secured the animals with the fabulous 
bid of $11,500 m/n (1,004) per beast, the cost of the meat 
working out at Is. 6d. per ounce. The La Plata company took 
in all 177 head of cattle, at a cost of $310,600 m/n (27,116). 
These cattle were all chilled and exported to the London 
market. The beef was of splendid quality, but suited to the 
winter rather than the summer trade, and the price at which it 
sold was not above that ruling for chilled beef of primest 


quality. When asked, after the Show, for some explanation 
of his action in buying the Hereford* at over 1,000 a head, 
Mr. Pry or, the La Plata manager, stated : " We want 
Argentine breeders to be assured that if they will only pro- 
dii' the right sort of animals, prices will be forthcoming 
to remunerate them amply." 

Canterbury Mutton at the Lord Mayor's Show. 

I n the early days of the frozen meat trade one of the principal 
problems which confronted the importer was the bringing of 
the meat prominently under the notice of the masses of the 
population. One of the most successful efforts in this direction 
was made with carcasses of Canterbury mutton, selected from 
parcels consigned to the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile 
Agency Co., Ltd. By the combined ingenuity of the con- 
signees, their Smithfield salesmen, Messrs. Ward and Stimpson, 
and a leading firm of carriers, a lorry load of these carcasses 
formed one of the exhibits of the Lord Mayor's Show in the 
year 1885. The mystery as to how this exhibit came to form 
part of the famous procession has never been satisfactorily 
cleared up by the City authorities, but the fact remains that 
the lorry with these carcasses hanging from a specially prepared 
framework of wooden beams traversed the streets of the City 
and formed an object of curiosity and interest to the thousands 
of cheering sightseers who were informed by placard that the 
carcasses in question were "New Zealand Frozen Mutton the 
Meat of the Future." As a matter of fact, the lorry 
waa driven by Mr. Fardel! , principal of the firm of van 
proprietors referred to above, into the unformed procession 
behind the Guildhall. Excellent as was this advertisement, it 
did not end with the mere exhibition of the meat in the streets 
of the City, for the morning papers of the following day all 
commented upon this novel feature of the Lord Mayor's Show, 
some treating it as part of the authorized procession, and 
others indignantly inquiring how it was the lorry with its 
burden found a place in the time-honoured pageant. It is 


also recorded that though the carcasses lost some of their 
bloom by exposure to the murky November atmosphere, they 
were sold at Smithfield on the following morning at prices 
above the market value of the day for prime carcasses, as the 
buyers were anxious to exhibit them in their shops as frozen 
mutton which had formed part of the Lord Mayor's Show. A 
very smart advertisement ! 

Kosher Frozen Meat. 

One of the modern distribution developments of the trade 
in Great Britain is indicated in the following advertisement 
which appeared in The Jewish World of August 19, 1910 : 

NOTICE TO THE JEWISH PUBLIC : We hereby give notice that the Ecclesias- 
tical Authorities and the London Board of Shechita have granted facilities for the 
importation of Chilled and Frozen Kosher Meat from Argentine. This meat is 
prepared by officials authorised by the Ecclesiastical Authorities, and appointed 
by the Board of Shechita. The meat is porged and Koshered prior to being 
shipped, and is therefore ready for use. The first consignment has arrived and 
will be followed by consignments at regular intervals. It is now on sale in the 
shops of retail butchers holding the Licence of the Board. Honvitz & Abrahams, 
Limited, Importers, 56 Aldgate High Street, E.C. 

The first lot of kosher frozen fores of beef from the Campana 
works arrived in London in August, 1910. A five years' 
contract was entered into with the River Plate Fresh Meat Co. 
for the supply of regular consignments. The whole scheme 
was pushed forward by the Jewish authorities in the interest 
of the poorer sections of the Jewish community, owing to the 
high prices of home and European supplies. At the time of 
the arrival of the above-mentioned shipment, prime English 
Kosher forequarters sold at 6%d. per Ib. ; the Argentine kosher 
fores made 3d. to 3$d. Over ten years ago Nelson Brothers 
made a bold bid for this business, but the scruples then of the 
Shechita Board on religious grounds could not be got over, and 
it is unfortunate that six months after the launching of the 
later enterprise recounted above the official announcement 
had to be made that the trade had not proved a success. 

A Mix H.I. ANY J81 

When the Jewish retail butchers expressed fhrir failure to 
create a demand for the meat, the Jewish authorities arranged 
for its sale from a shop opened especially for this purpose, but 
r\. M this enterprise was not rewarded with success, thanks to 
|tn judice which, presumably, is to be found among Jews as 
well as Gentiles. 

Doubts are expressed as to the likelihood of a trade in 
kosher frozen meat ever being built up, unless the authorities 
are prepared to alter their regulations to permit of salting 
after delivery in Great Britain. For it is stated that the salt 
used in koshering renders the meat unfit for the application 
of freezing. 

Some description of koshering meat may here be given in 
the words of a Jewish Rabbi: "With one swoop of the knife 
we have to cut two pipes in the throat the oesophagus and the 
thorax. If at least half of each of the pipes are cut with one 
swoop, the animal is considered to be properly killed. It 
does not live more than a minute after the cut, and there is 
not the slightest doubt that within ten seconds after the knife 
has passed across the throat there is no consciousness of pain, 
and in that respect, at any rate, it has a great advantage over 
the ordinary method of pole-axing. When an animal has 
ceased to live, the slaughterer makes an examination of the 
lungs, and the slightest anatomical derangement or defect may 
cause the animal to be discarded as unfit for human food. If, 
on manual examination, everything is found to be satisfactory, 
thru the lungs are removed and examined optically, and if 
then there is nothing unsatisfactory, the shochet requests one 
of the attendants to distend the lungs by blowing, and soon 
they reach the size and become just as they were in the body 
before death. If he puts a little moisture on any suspected 
<luring the time of distent ion the air will escape. If any 
.-in- escapes, it will be seen by the bubbles rising fnmi tin- 
ton placed there. If there are bubbles, the animal is 
considered to be ' trifah,' or until. If it is all right, the 
shochet places a little leaden stamp upon the various parts 
of t he carcass, on which is written the word ' kosher ' in 
Hebrew on one side and the day of the week on the other, and 


thus the meat is guaranteed to be fit for food. If our contention 
is correct, and we can trace most diseases by examination of 
the lungs, it is evident we do, at least, something from the 
sanitary standpoint in discarding such animals as are unfit. 
Even after the meat has been purchased and brought home, it 
is not done with. The blood is removed, so far as possible, by 
soaking the meat in water for half an hour, and then it is 
covered with salt, the salt being again removed by rinsing. 
That process is called making the meat ' kosher.' The flesh 
of beasts dying from any other cause than death by the shochet 
is forbidden. The veins and arteries are, before eating, removed 
by a peculiar process. Diseased or dying animals must not 
be killed. The * kosher ' Jew does not eat the hindquarters 
of the animal." 

An Early Welcome to Frozen Meat, 

In the account of the efforts of the pioneers of the frozen 
meat trade, the work of Mr. John Grigg, of Longbeach, New 
Zealand, must be noted. The following account of the recep- 
tion in this country of meat shipped by Mr. Grigg on the 
Dunedin in 1881 is given by his son, Mr. J. C. N. Grigg : 

" When the sailing ship Dunedin left Port Chalmers, part of 
the cargo were some half-bred Shropshire wethers and lambs 
railed from Longbeach by my father, John Grigg, and con- 
signed to the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Co. in 
London. Three lambs and two wethers were consigned direct 
to me at Cambridge, they were delivered to me on a Monday, 
and directly they arrived I had them put in a fishmonger's ice 
room and wrapped in a blanket, where they remained thawing 
until Thursday. Kettle was the name of the Jesus College 
cook who agreed to cook the three lambs and sheep all at once. 
On Thursday afternoon I went to the kitchen at 4 p.m., and 
saw them all being spitted, the joints being turned by the old 
smoke jack. I told Kettle the sheep were from New Zealand, 
but asked him not to tell anyone. Next day the men in the 
Jesus first boat (then head of the river) were lunching with 


me, and I had two cold joints of Canterbury lamb on the table. 
It was only natural that men in training should have two 
helpings, but when one said, ' You will think me damned 
greedy, Grigg, but the lamb is so good, I must ask for a third 
lie 1 1 ting,' and another followed suit, I was delighted, and then 
I told them the lamb was from New Zealand, much to their 

" Stephen Fairbairn, of Melbourne, was one of the 
Mini, and he was very excited, as his father was chairman 
of the first freezing company formed in Victoria. I wrote 
at* once to my father to say how excellent the mutton 
and lamb were, especially the latter, which was perfectly 
sweet and good several days after leaving the freezing 

" After this first shipment I received letters from my father 
expressing great confidence and hope in the future of the 
frozen meat trade. My father with others in Canterbury at 
once started to build freezing works at Belfast, after forming 
a small farmers' company." 

Flock Maintenance and Exports. 

It is interesting to note that the export of frozen sheep and 
lambs from Now Zealand, increasing steadily (the period 
1903 1904 was the only exception) as it has from 1882 to the 
present time, has not depleted the flocks of the Dominion ; 
indeed, the frozen meat export has been accompanied by a 
steady growth, from about 13,000,000 head of sheep in 1881 
to about 20,000,000 in 1901, at which date New Zealand was 
shipping 16 per cent, of her flocks to Great Britain in the form 
of frozen sheep and lambs, a percentage which rose in 1903 to 
24 permit. In 1903 1904 sheep fell in numbers, but an up ward 
movement set in again in 1905, and has continued to the date 
of the last official enumeration. In the United Kingdom, with 
an area not very much more extensive than that of New 
Zealand, there are 32,000,000 sheep, and the annual killing of 
sheep and lambs is about 40 per cent., and of cattle 25 per cent. 


So New Zealand's sheep stock will, no doubt, still further 
increase. The following figures illustrate this paragraph : 

Sheep in New Zealand. 

Frozen Mutton and Lambs 

















The wonderful position of New Zealand to-day in the export 
of frozen meat is due to the suitability of the land for sheep 
breeding and the evenness and mildness of her climate. That 
the Dominion can keep on exporting such a very large propor- 
tion of its sheep, and still go on increasing the number of its 
permanent flocks, is due to the high percentage of lambs 
reared. Roughly speaking, the percentage of lambs reared 
year after year is about 90 per cent. Many farmers in Canter- 
bury rear 120 per cent., and in some cases still higher percen- 
tages are recorded. 

Enter Mr. Hooley. 

An incident that may be mentioned here was the temporary 
appearance of Mr. Ernest T. Hooley in the frozen meat trade 
arena in 1897. On May 21 of that year, his solicitors, Messrs. 
Ashwell and Tutin, issued a circular letter in which it was 
stated that he was prepared to " form a combination," if 
supported by the industry, with the object of placing the frozen 
meat trade upon a satisfactory footing. His plan was to 
amalgamate the freezing companies in Australasia, and he was 
prepared to purchase the companies on the basis of the net 
assets as per balance sheet plus a bonus equal to the aggregate 
amount of dividends paid during the previous seven years. 
A new company would be formed in London with a larger 
capital than the aggregate values of the concerns taken over. 
Mr. Hooley's idea was that the trade on this side lacked capital 
and organization, and he thought a combine would improve 


market prices. Mr. Marshall Stevens, the late managing 
director of the Manchester Ship Canal, worked out the details 
of this proposal, which came to nought. The complexities 
of the frozen meat business did not yield, as other problems 
had done, to Mr. Hooley's magic touch. 

A Cargo in Coffins. 

A rat In [ amusing but disastrous incident connected with 
tin- early shipments of frozen meat in the New Zealand trade, 
is toKl by Mr. Frank Coxon, the well-known Australian con- 
sult ing engineer. The incident may be told in Mr. Coxon's own 
words : "It occurred in connection with the sailing ship 
Mataura, I think on her third voyage. She was sent to 
Auckland to freeze and load a cargo of mutton at that port, 
and the charterers of the frozen space were anxious to encourage 
every local industry in their power, with the result that it 
was decided that each carcass of mutton should be placed in 
a Kauri box, or ' coffin,' as these receptacles were popularly 
called on board, in lieu of the usual cotton bags. This was 
carried out, and after considerable freezing had been done, 
the captain, who was not satisfied with the appearance of 
things, communicated with his owners, who at once sent me 
to Auckland to look into matters. On examination of the 
cargo, I condemned the system as being quite unsuitable, the 
boxes entirely obstructing the circulation of the air round the 
meat ; this I explained to the charterers, but they refused to 
act on my advice, and the ship sailed for London. Needless to 
say, the whole cargo had to be jettisoned at sea before its 
destination was reached." 

A Frozen Meat Cooking Recipe. 

The following " directions for cooking New Zealand and 
other fro/en mutton," issued by the New Zealand Loan and 
Mercantile Agency Co. in the early eighties, shows that more 
care was then taken in this important department of the trade 
than is the case now. " Frozen meat, like English, improves 
by hanging. The hindquarters will keep a week in cool 


weather, the forequarters may be cooked sooner. As there is 
a tendency for the juice to run from the mutton while thawing, 
it should be hung in such a way as to check this. The hind- 
quarter, haunch, and leg, should be hung by the flaps, the 
knuckles hanging down, the loins and saddles also by the flaps, 
giving them a horizontal position. This meat should not be 
soaked in water for the purpose of thawing (as some suppose), 
but hung in the larder or other dry, draughty place, and wiped 
occasionally with a dry cloth in damp weather. Flour should 
not be used, as it is apt to turn sour. When put down for 
cooking, the chump part of the leg or loin should be exposed to 
the fire, or hottest part of the oven, for a few minutes, to toast 
the part cut and so seal it up, thus keeping the gravy in the 

A Frigid Message. 

The housewife who, about 1888, found pushed up alongside 
the bone in a leg of mutton (which she had purchased as 
English at 9dL a lb.), a piece of paper bearing this legend : 
" Where did you buy this leg, and what price did you pay ? 
inform J. C., Ashburton, Christchurch, N.Z.," must have been 

Tallerman Enterprises. 

Some interest attaches to the work done by Mr. Daniel 
Tallerman in introducing Australian preserved meats at 
cheap price during the times of scarcity that preceded the 
Strathleven voyage. Mr. Tallerman arrived from Melbourne to 
settle in London in 1868, bringing some packages of meat in 
tallow with him. This meat was mild-cured, boned mutton, 
enclosed in a linen envelope, and was rolled like sides of bacon. 
It was packed in casks, and tallow was run round the meat. 
This mutton carried well, and when chopped into mincemeat 
and cooked with potatoes it made an appetizing, nutritious, and 
economical dish, the potatoes absorbing the fat. At one time 
there were 100 tons of the meat on hand in London. Mr. 
Tallerman and his " Penny Dinners " at Norton Folgate were 


famous from 1868 to 1872. The movement was initiated by a 
gigantic banquet to 1,400 London working men and women at 
the Lambeth Batha on December 1, 1869, at which many 
Australians were present. The following is from Punch, 
January 8, 1870 : 

" The French Emperor having expressed a desire to test 
some of the Australian meat, which furnishes the penny 
dinners in Norton Folgate, Mr. Tallerman, manager of the 
Australian Meat Agency, at once submitted samples to the 
Tuilerics. The Emperor, on the principle of fiat experimentum 
in corpore vili, caused some of the meat to be cooked for the 
soldiers on guard. Finding that they survived it, and even, like 
Oliver Twist, asked for more, he ordered the same dish to be 
set before the principal officers of the Imperial Household. 
The officers, unlike the privates, shuddered, but ate, and to 
their own amazement, relished ; and then the Emperor tried 
it himself, pronounced it good, and expressed his gracious 
intention of causing a more extended trial to be made we 
presume on the Empress and the entourage." 

The British public were very much prejudiced against 
preserved meat in any form owing to the disastrous outturn 
of some shipments from South America of " charqui " (1866 
to 1868). The Observer of October 31, 1868, spoke of " the 
macerated caoutchouc-like lumps of charqui which earned the 
execrations of the populace " ; Australian meat was popularly 
termed " charqui " for some time. 

Mr. Tallerman formed a company for each class of meat he 
handled. The Norton Folgate campaign was conducted by 
him at his own risk and expense. Later on he turned his 
attention to tinned meats, which he showed at the Vienna 
Exhibition of 1873. The Emperor of Austria tasted Australian 
meat, and was so pleased with it that he made Mr. Tallerman 
a " Hitter Kreitz " of the Order of Francis Joseph. Mr. 
Tallerman acted in London for the French company which 
financed M. Tellier's Frigorifiqite venture, and he imported 
into Great Britain about 10 tons of the meat. The newspapers 
from 1868 for ten years or so were full of Mr. Tallerman's 
enterprises for introducing meat preserved in all sorts of ways. 


In 1874 he took premises in Upper Thames Street, and fitted 
up a patent refrigerator. In 1879 he opened up a retail 
department for the selling of American dressed beef in one of 
the arches of the railway ; Mr. Tallerman and the salesman in 
charge (Mr. Burket) worked in co-operation. This is mentioned 
on account of the enormous interest excited. Mr. Tallerman 
declares that 50,000 people a week visited the premises, many 
of whom purchased meat, and that 100 a week was paid in 
tolls (%d. per lb.). A merry season of fourteen weeks was 
experienced, in which 30,000 was taken. This enterprise, 
however, was short lived, the salesman-partner left, the boom 
collapsed, and the place was soon closed. 

Frozen Meat Squibs. 

An amusing hoax was perpetrated in the seventies on the 
Press and public of Australia. It proceeded from the pen of a 
well-known gentleman in Brisbane, who gravely described how 
experiments had been successfully carried on at freezing works 
in Sydney Harbour on a live lamb, which after having been 
frozen hard under the influence of drugs had been unfrozen 
again at the end of six months and thawed out alive (!) and, 
with the exception of the tail, absolutely sound. (The tail 
had been snapped off in the process.) This was cabled home 
and created great commotion in interested circles, and a 
leading London journal, carried away with the excitement, 
devoted a leader to the subject. Allied to this yarn there was 
current at the same period, say about 1875, at the squatters' 
clubs in Queensland, the story that steps had been taken to 
analyse the poison which the " mason wasp " to temporarily 
poison its victims injects into the bodies of the spiders placed 
in the nest in which the eggs of the wasp are sealed up. 
(These clever insects, well known to all residents in Queensland, 
stuff the bag charged with eggs and spiders into keyholes, gun- 
barrels, etc., and then close up the apertures. When the 
young wasps emerge from the eggs they break up the sac and 
admit the air, whereupon the unfortunate spiders, which had 
been in a condition of suspended life, revive, only to be 


devoured by the young wasps.) This suggested a lively squib, 
directed at Mort and his work. When the mason wasp's 
poison had been fixed, it was to be artificially manufactured 
and injected into tlio bodies of cattle and sheep intended for 
tin- Kiiuli-li market. After the animals had been treated, they 
were to be placed in ships' holds and hermetically sealed up. 
On docking at London, the inrush of air, following upon the 
opening up of the chambers, would reanimate the stock, like 
the mason wasp's spider victims, and, hey presto ! fat beeves 
and plump woollies from Australia's plains would be soliciting 
the custom of the English butcher. 




THE dietetic value of frozen meat is really proved by the 
fact that it is consumed and found perfectly acceptable by all 
classes in Great Britain. But, possibly, its food- value may 
not be completely represented by its popularity. Public 
experience and scientific tests have long ago vindicated frozen 
meat, so that when, for instance, in September, 1909, Mr. 
Rowland Hunt in the House of Commons asked ironically if 
the War Minister was aware that, according to a pamphlet 
issued, experts consider that one pound of freshly-killed beef is 
worth a stone of frozen meat, nothing more than an outrage 
on common sense was perpetrated. Mr. (now Lord) Haldane 
neatly countered by saying that " he was sure that the 
hon. member had, without knowing it, flourished on frozen 
meat." The Minister realized that to reply directly to 
the query would be an insult to the intelligence of the 
House of Commons ! It may be well, however, to bring 
forward in this chapter conclusive evidence that frozen meat, 
as to primeness of quality and excellence of condition, is 
sound and sterling food ; that the processes through which 
it has passed have caused no injury and deprived the meat 
of none of its nourishing value. Further, there may be put on 
record statements of practical men, and the results of scientists' 

To begin at the beginning, on p. 98 are given some 
particulars of the enormous sums paid by breeders in the 
Argentine for pure-bred sheep and cattle imported from Great 
Britain. The progeny of the rams and bulls purchased from 
the pedigree flocks and herds of the British breeder have been 
sent to England in the form of frozen meat. The object of the 
South American buyer of these expensive animals was to 


improve the native stock in the Republic BO that the dead 
meat exported might be of unexceptionable quality. Without 
forcing any comparison between the frozen meat imported into 
Great Britain nml the home stock slaughtered for food, there 
can be no doubt that, if it were possible to compare the frozen 
and chilled meats marketed throughout England and Scotland 
on a given day with home-fed meats of all grades, and strike 
averages for quality, the imported meat would not be the 
inferior. As in Argentina and Uruguay, so in Australia and 
New Zealand, where the whole of the flocks and herds are of 
Hritish blood. For many years past the stockmen in those 
countries have been steadily buying pedigree sheep and, to a 
lees extent, cattle, from English and Scotch breeders. The 
Kent or Romney Marsh, Shropshire, Southdown, Hampshire 
and Oxford Downs, Dorset Horn numbers of rams from these 
meat breeds are exported to Australasia yearly. What is the 
meaning of all this ? Simply that in eating frozen meat we 
are eating to a great extent just the same class and grades 
of meat as we should order from English and Scotch grazing 
districts. It would be a good thing if the Government of New 
Zealand were to cause a circular to be sent to every house- 
holder in England announcing the fact that the Kent or 
Romney Marsh sheep exhibited by Mr. Ernest Short, of 
Parorangi, New Zealand, at the Argentine 1910 Centenary 
Show beat the British sheep of the same class and took 
championship honours. This is the stock from which New 
Zealand meat is bred ! 

Scientific Tests. 

In previous chapters have been described the processes 
through which the frozen meat passes from the time it leaves 
the freezing works until it arrives at the English butcher's shop. 
The experience of thirty years in conducting the trade has 
eliminated all faulty methods and has established such a 
smooth procedure that accidents and mischances in the 
conveyance of the meat from point to point which would 
with good condition are relatively rare, and if the 

u li 


treatment to which reference has several times been made, 
viz., sufficient thawing out, is observed frozen meat ranks with 
the best ! 

To revert a while and meet the objection of the critic who 
says that freezing injures meat, the point might almost be 
answered in general terms. Did the Beefsteak Club find that 
the freezing process had spoiled the flavour of the Canterbury 
wethers that pleased them so mightily ? Do the millions who 
enjoy the tender frozen lambs find the pleasure to their palate 
lessened owing to the carcasses having been subject to King 
Frost for a couple of months or so ? But let us see what 
scientific men say. 

Back in 1896 the London journal the Hospital printed some 
articles giving the results of certain quantitative cooking tests 
made by Mr. Samuel Rideal, D.Sc. (Lond.), F.I.C., which tests 
showed that frozen meat was digestible, nutritious, palatable, 
and economical. This examination certainly has historical 
interest, in view of its being undertaken for the purpose of 
publicly dissipating current prejudices against frozen meat. 
Under the direction of a clever practical cook, two legs of 
mutton of nearly equal weight were baked for an equal length 
of time in ovens equally heated. No. 1 was English grown and 
killed and cost lOd. per Ib. ; No. 2 was the best New Zealand 
frozen mutton, thawed at the butcher's, and sent in ready 
for use. Two and a quarter hours were given to the baking, 
and the following are the resultant figures : 

English. New Zealand. 

Ibs. ozs. Ibs. ozs. 

Weight when delivered by the butcher 8 6 7 1-t 

Weight when taken from the oven 515 513 

Seven sub-tests were made as to weight of slices suitable for 
hospital diet, bone and waste, gravy, etc., in all of which the 
frozen joint held its own. "It is clear," wrote the Hospital, 
" even from one experiment that the assertion that New 
Zealand meat is essentially and invariably more wasteful than 
English cannot be supported." Then the Hospital commis- 
sioned Dr. Rideal to undertake tests concerning the nutritive 


and digestible properties of frozen meat. The three kinds of 
mutton selected for comparison were London-killed Scotch, at 
lOd. per Ib. ; frozen Canterbury, at Sd. per Ib. ; and frozen 
Australian, from merino sheep, at 4d. per Ib. In these 
experiments the Australian and New Zealand mutton well 
hold their own with the Scotch meat. 

In 1897 Dr. Rideal made an exhaustive examination of 
Queensland beef, comparing it with chilled American and 
English ox beef. In view of the oft-repeated statement aa to 
the effect of freezing upon meat, it is of importance to place 
on record this sentence from the report : "In the micro- 
scopical examination, the samples when thawed showed that 
tlir meat fibres had not been ruptured or altered in any way 
by the hard freezing process adopted by Queensland shippers." 
Dr. Rideal continued : 

I can confidently assert that both with regard to digestibility and for the 
preparation of soups or beef tea the hard frozen meat is of intrinsically the same 
value as that which has been chilled or freshly killed. 

The above quotation of a scientist's statement that freezing 
has no injurious effect on the structure of the meat is neces- 
sary in view of the fact that critics constantly assert that 
t ha \\ing frozen meat acts on the fibre as does melting ice in 
water pipes in a sudden thaw. 

In 1007 Dr. Rideal made further analytical experiments to 

mine the nutritive value of frozen and chilled Argentine 

beef and of Australian lamb and mutton as compared with 

English meat. Analysis of lean from samples of beef tested 

gave the following percentages : 





< h.'.: :. 


1 : ;. 

K-, ;'.-',. 


. :.....! 


1 :. . 


Water ... 



;-, ,;.-. 










Meat fibre extractives 

and associated mine- 

ral matter 

21 11 


.M .'.; 


Total nitrogen 








In testing for the comparative digestibility of steak the 
following results were obtained : 

Argentine Chilled. 

Argentine Frozen. 


the percentages of lean portions of meat available for digestive 
purposes turning out in the three cases as follow : 

Argentine Chilled. 

Argentine Frozen. 


The housewife, who in the past has had preached to her such 
tales as to the wasting qualities of imported meat on cooking, 
might with profit study the following results of baking tests 
made in the course of Dr. Rideal's investigations : 






Ibs. ozs. 

Ibs. ozs. 

Ibs. ozs. 

Ibs. ozs. 

Weight when delivered ... 

4 15 

5 7fc 

8 10 

8 9 

Weight when taken from 


4 2J 

4 15 

6 13J 

6 7J 

Weight of slices suitable 

for hospital diet 

2 13J 

3 8J 

4 -1J 

4 6 

Weight of bone and 


1 OJ 

1 11 

2 4 

1 11 

Pure bone 



1 2 






1 OJ 

Gravy in dish after carv- 






Gravy under dripping . . 




Then as to its digestibility, the same authority arrived at 
the following figures of percentages : 















Organic matter and associated mineral 
matter... . ... 





Percentage of nitrogenous organic 
matter digested 





The concluding remark of Dr. Rideal in his report as to this 
close scrutiny of the value of refrigerated meat is that "It is 
satisfactory to find the general opinion confirmed that no 

Tin: Dll.Tl.riC8 OF FROZEN MK.vr 

incipient decomposition or hydrolysis takes place under cold 
storage ; while this further series of tests also fully supports 
the favourable conclusions arrived at as the result of previous 
experiments, by further illustrating the satisfactory food 
values of frozen mutton and lamb." To sum up, the analyst, 
in a paper read before the first International Refrigerating 
Congress in Paris in 1008 said : " In a series of quantitative 
cooking trials I found that the food value of frozen was 
not less than that of fresh meat." 

There is also solid material at hand in favour of frozen meat 
in the highly technical paper of Mr. W. D. Richardson, chair* 
man of the Chicago Section of the American Chemical Society, 
delivered at the same Congress, on the subject of " The Cold 
Storage of Beef and Poultry." This essay is illustrated by a 
wealth of diagrams from photographs of meat substances 
under freezing and thawing conditions. Changes in flesh foods 
under cold storage were the problem, and the chief change 
investigated was bacterial action. Experiments were made 
on fresh and frozen beef knuckle ; the latter was observed up 
to 554 days, and the conclusion the scientist came to was that 
" frozen meat from 93 to 554 days old is in the same condition 
bac tonally as meat from freshly slaughtered animals." This 
is a high testimony to the preserving powers of refrigeration, 
though, of course, the cost involved in prolonged cold storage 
would of itself serve to ensure that the public meat supplies 
are never submitted to such lengthy warehousing. 

Two paragraphs may be quoted from this valuable paper : 

There are no fact* known at present which would militate against the porai- 
bilitj of flesh preservation for an indefinite length of time under proper condition* 
of Mange. Ottertag-Wilcox (Handbook of Meat Inspection, p. 824) says : " Cold 
is unquestionably the best method of preserving meat. It causes no alteration in 
the meat, either with regard to taate or nutritive value." 

In conclusion, cold storage appears to be the best method of preservation of 
flesh foods at present known to man, inasmuch as it modifies to a less extent the 
appearance and quality of the product than do other methods. That improvement* 
may be and will be introduced into cold storage practice must be admitted, but 
that in principle cold storage prevents or inhibits to a large extent the forces of 
deterioration, chemical and biochemical, cannot be denied. It is a satisfactory, 
efficient and safe means of preservation of flesh foods for long periods of time. 

Another endorsement of the fact that the nutritive matter 
is identical in home grown and frozen mutton has been made 


by Professor James Long in the record of the results of a test 
which he undertook a few years ago at the request of the War 
Office. To make his test Professor Long took thirty legs of 
wether mutton, Scotch, English, New Zealand, Argentine, and 
Australian, and the following extract may be made from his 
report : 

If we make a general comparison between the home-grown and the imported 
mutton we obtain the following results, which represent the average of the 
fifteen joints : 

Home-grown Mutton : 

Real Nutritive Matter 

Average Weight (Fat and Lean) 

per joint. Water devoid of moisture. 

Ibs. ozs. Per cent. Per cent. 

10 7 43-78 40-53 

Imported Mutton : 

8 8 46-17 39-37 

Practically speaking, the real nutritive matter present in each lot of meat, the 
home-grown and the imported, was identical, for the difference was but slightly 
more than 1 per cent. The quantity of meat in its moist condition was actually 
higher in the imported than in the home-grown legs of mutton, but the fat, which 
counts materially owing to its useful feeding properties, told in favour of the 
British meat, although a large proportion is invariably wasted. 

These favourable verdicts, from persons so competent to 
pass them, make out a very excellent case for frozen meat, 
well worth the attention of the British public and the peoples 
of Continental countries. Indeed, the whole of this volume, 
when carefully epitomized, yields testimony, beyond question, 
not only of the dietetic value of the supplies of frozen and 
chilled meat which arrive at the ports of Great Britain, but 
also, speaking generally, of the enormous benefit to a nation 
engaged in industrial activities which these supplies confer, in 
being regular, skilfully handled, cheap, and, as to quality and 
soundness, guaranteed by Government veterinary certificate at 
the country of production, and by the examination of the 
inspectors of the Medical Officers of Health at the ports of 

Further tests made by English and foreign scientists of the 
dietetic value of frozen meat might be cited in this chapter, 
and additional evidence leading to a favourable conclusion of 
the frozen meat case would not be difficult to bring forward. 
But the authors think that enough has been written, bearing 

TIM: nil .ll. TICS OF ru/KN MEAT 

in mind that the general public of Great Britain have voted 
for frozen meat in an unmistakable manner, viz., by con- 
suming 5,664,000 tons of frozen mutton and beef in the 
thirty-one yean covered by the duration of the trade, 1880 
to 1910. 

The Testimony of Medical Officers of Health. 

The reports issued by the Medical Officers of Health for 
tin city of London and the Port of London (Dr. W. Colling- 
ridge and Dr. Herbert Williams) teem with statements 
testifying to the excellence of the imported frozen meats. 

In looking through the Annual Reports of these Medical 
Officers one sees numerous references to the fine quality of 
frozen meat passing under the observation of their officials. 
The following is an extract from Dr. Williams'* Annual 
Report for 1906 : 

" The arrangements for keeping the meat at a low temperature bare been much 
improred, and it is only occasionally, when some defect in these arrangement* 
occurs, that the meat on examination is found to be unsound. The bulk of the 
meat arrives in first-class condition, as is shown by the fact that only 4,279 
carcasses of mutton and 844 quarters of beef (out of a total of 8,799,892 csrcMSM 
1 ."> quarters) have been found unfit for food during the year as a result 
of unsoundncfls,* and *t a tingle carctu* Kan bee* $eizfd on account of ditto*. 
/.'., dam&g* caoMd by accident* during tnuuit. 

The Medical Officers of Health have had occasion to find fault 
as well as to give praise. In their Reports for 1910 and P.H 1 
tin Y had to draw attention to a serious blemish in Australian 
frozen beef. The Commonwealth Government thereupon took 
measures, in the shape- of a more organized inspection system, 
to meet the difficulty and remove the Medical Officers' cause 
of complaint. 

The fact that Tommy Atkins abroad and at home is wholly 
or in part fed on frozen meat, and flourishes on the diet, is an 
excellent testimony to the sound quality of the fare. In this 
ction it should be mentioned that there is on record a 
statement made by the chief of the United States Commissariat 
at Manila that the American troops in the Philippines have 
found the Queensland frozen beef of first-class quality, suitable 
for keeping up the fighting power of men. And he ought to 
know, for he has bought a lot of it ! As for the general utility 


of frozen meat as a war supply, a leading witness before the 
Royal Commission on the South African War said of cold 
storage that it " saved South Africa." 

The Sound Quality of Imports. 

Referring to the position of frozen meat on Smithfield 
Market, a well-known figure there has remarked : " The trade 
has now reached such a point that it is really difficult to 
conceive what our position would be were it not for frozen 
meat." The same suggestion occurs with more force with 
regard to the public. What would happen if there were no 
frozen and chilled meat to be had ? The benefits of refrigera- 
tion have penetrated into all the conditions of life. Travellers 
recollect down to the eighties the wretched stock and miserable 
fowls carried on board steamers to supply fresh meat for 
passengers. Since frozen meat came along, the mail steamer 
is provisioned as easily and as well as the hotel. 

If it may be stated that the vegetarian restaurant of our 
towns the first of any size was that opened in Queen Street, 
Cheapside, London, in 1882 was, broadly speaking, a protest 
against meat scarcity and dearness, it may also be said that 
such food purveying institutions have probably been robbed 
of full development by the advent of cheap frozen meats. 
Though vegetarianism has its advocates, there is undoubtedly 
a consensus of scientific opinion that a generous meat diet 
is necessary for the hard worker. 



(Specially Contributed by Air. John Cookt, of Australia.} 

IT would bo freely conceded by most that no man is in a 
r position to say what the frozen meat industry has 
meant to Australia than Mr. John Cooke, senior partner of the 
firm of John Cooke and Co., Australia. Mr. Cooke has contri- 
buted the following lines concerning the part which the 
frozen meat trade has played in developing the resources of 
Australia : 

" Prior to the introduction of refrigeration in the preservation 
and transport of fresh meat, the only methods of disposing 
of the surplus sheep and cattle produced in Australia were : 

(a) Preserving and packing mutton and beef in cans ; 

(6) Boiling down the carcasses for their tallow. 

" Neither of these methods offered much encouragement to 

k producers to increase their flocks and herds, as the 

returns from canned meat were frequently very trifling, while 

those obtained from tallow refining were small, after providing 

for the cost of manufacture, casks, etc. 

" The- values ruling for sheep almost entirely depended on 
their fleeces, the carcass on average representing very little 
indeed in the price. In the same way the value of any bullock 
or cow outside the category of a fat beast fit for local consump- 
tion depended entirely on the hide and the tallow that could 
be extracted through the digester. There was accordingly 
little to stimulate station owners to improve their holdings 
or increase their flocks and herds, seeing that they could never 
reckon on getting a profitable market for their surplus stock 
when these were ready for market or when they wanted to 
dispose of them. Likely enough a dry spell would intervene 


when they were overstocked, and, having no profitable outlet 
whatever, they had simply to look on while their stock gradually 
disappeared. These conditions made stock-raising in Australia 
a very precarious proposition, and greatly retarded that 
development which the magnificent lands and healthy and 
genial climatic conditions ought to have brought about. 
There have been occasions when prices for sheep were so low 
that they were sold by the score instead of per head. 

" The frozen meat export trade has changed all that, and 
has proved to be by far the most potent factor in the growth 
and prosperity of Australia during the past twenty years. 
The waste lands of the Crown have not only been rendered 
more valuable per se, but lessees have been encouraged to 
expend money in improvements, thus increasing the carrying 
capacity of their runs, and converting what might have become 
rabbit warrens or barren plains into wool- and meat-producing 
properties. All owners of rural land, whether of 100 or 100,000 
acres, have had a permanent and increasing value placed upon 
their holdings owing to the fact that the stock they raised has 
had established for it a profitable minimum value. Land- 
owners have accordingly been enabled to improve their holdings 
by fencing, water conservation, and cultivation, and further- 
more, they have felt justified in spending money in the way of 
introducing improved strains of blood into their flocks and 

" It will be manifest that all classes of live stock, whether 
stores or fats, have benefited by the export of fat carcass 
meat; in fact, in many cases prices obtainable for store sheep 
and cattle have approximated, and, indeed, occasionally even 
equalled, those for prime slaughter animals. 

" The long and terrible drought which culminated in 1902 
and brought the total sheep stock of Australia from about 
ninety-eight down to about fifty-four millions, and cattle from 
about twelve down to seven millions, temporarily checked 
the export of frozen meat, and it is hardly necessary to point 
out that had that export industry not been maintained and 
extended, it would have been utterly impossible during the brief 
period of seven years to have restored the numbers of sheep 


lose upon 100,000,000 in 1910, the world's high water mark 
istoral activity. No more striking proof is needed of the 
enormous advantages accruing to Australia from this industry, 
and it is all the more extraordinary when it is realized that 
rabbits and other scourges have been prevalent during the 
last decade. 

Lilian woolgrowers have reason to be very thankful 
to im-ut i-xporU-rs for tlu> scrurity it affords thrm to know that 
in meeting the ever-increasing demands for wool they possess 
two strings to their bow instead of one. Had it not been for 
the enterprise of the freezing companies, the sheep farmer 
would hardly have dared to enlarge his flocks so materially, 
and he would thus have missed the splendid market for wool 
which he has enjoyed on his increased output for several 
years past. 

" The enormously increased employment directly arising 
from this trade, to station hands, butchers, freezing works 
labourers, fellmongers, tanners, wharf lumpers, and others, 
has been a factor of much importance in every State of 
Australia ; while the indirect advantages to all local traders and 
manufacturers have been incalculable. 

" The Government railways have reason to regard refrigera- 
tion as a source of great income to them, the transport of live 
stock by rail having enormously developed since its inception, 
while the carriage of frozen meat and the various by-products 
has also produced large revenues for the various States. No 
interest has realized, and benefited by, the growth of this 
frozen meat trade more than shipping, and one has only to 
turn to the expansion in the number and size of ocean steam- 
ships now trading with Australian ports to judge of the vast 
impetus that has accrued thereby to Australian production. 
A i i.l t he cry is still for further refrigerated tonnage. 

4 The phenomenal increase in the export of dairy produce 
rind fruit would not have occurred but for the facilities for 
effective transport initiated and mainly supported by the meat 
trade, and m this sense alone the amount of profitable labour 
that has been rendered possible can hardly be overstated. 
Further, while the exports of mutton and lamb have been 


the mainstay of the industry, the quantity of frozen beef 
shipped abroad has been steadily extending, and would have 
been much greater but for the long drought that ended about 
seven years ago. It can readily be understood that the 
restoration of herds of cattle takes a much longer period than 
the recovery of flocks of sheep. 

" The commendable schemes of immigration now being so 
energetically promoted by all Australian States have manifestly 
been made much more practicable through the advertisement 
given to Australia by the ever-increasing distribution of 
Australian meat through the length and breadth of the United 

" Other localities have taken their part in the trade, notably 
South Africa, the Philippine Islands, the Mediterranean ports, 
and it is not difficult to foresee that all the great European 
countries France, Germany, Austria, etc. must follow the 
examples of Italy and Switzerland, and, by admitting frozen 
meat free from impossible conditions and on a moderate scale 
of customs duties, enable their citizens to obtain wholesome 
meat at prices within their means." 

THK Ul'.Ml ll"\. -ll: .n.M:i'll 01 
\\ \l:l>. I . . l.l i... I-KI.MK 
>K M u n \I.\M-. }'.', I'.'li'. 


TMB MMMIil |..|:- ..K II VITKK-* XXI . \\M . VM- \\lll. 

Ta/*t* f. 30J. 


(Specially Contributed by the Right Hon. Sir Joseph Ward, P.O., O.C.M.O., 
Prime Afinitter of New Zealand, 1906 1912.) 

THE experiments in the oversea carriage of meat in a frozen 
state were eagerly watched in New Zealand. In 1880 the 
pastoral interests of the Colony had reached a crisis. The 
flocks and herds had increased to numbers which provided 
meat in quantity far beyond the requirements of the Colony, 
while a greater revenue than that which was derived from 
wool, tallow, skins, and hides was required. The only forms 
in which the meat could be exported were preserved meat and 
tallow, and the market for the former was glutted, so that the 
boiling-down for the tallow was the only outlet for the surplus 
stock. The situation was intensified by the decline in the 
price of wool which set in about that time, and by several 
successive harvests being damaged by bad weather. The 
problem of profitably using not only the pastoral but also the 
agricultural lands of the Colony was one of vital importance, 
and means by which the surplus meat would be given a reliable 
market value were looked to as the only hope of restoring the 
agricultural and pastoral industries to a position of stability. 
When reports were received of the success of the initial frozen 
meat shipments from Australia to London, steps were at once 
talmn to enter into the new trade thus opened. Before the 
close of the year 1880 preliminary action had been taken to 
form companies to embark in the refrigerating industry (the 
potentialities of which in regard to dairy produce as well as to 
meat were recognized later on), and early in the year 1882 the 
first shipment of frozen meat was despatched from New Zealand 
to London. The enterprise was crowned with success, and 


quickly every pastoral and agricultural district in the Colony 
entered into the trade, which has expanded to a volume 
exceeded in value only by wool, and which has not nearly 
reached its limits. This expansion has, no doubt, been greatly 
assisted by the popularity which New Zealand meat has gained 
owing to the efficient system of inspection by which the freedom 
from disease of all exported meat is assured. 

From the beginning in 1882 with a small shipment, slaugh- 
tered on land and frozen in the hold of the carrying ship (a 
sailing vessel), the trade has grown by 1910 to the following 
dimensions : 

No. of meat freezing works in operation, 1911 31 

Daily slaughtering and freezing capacity in sheep carcasses, 1911 82,000 
Cold storage capacity, sheep carcasses, 1911 ... 1,860,000 

EXPORTS, 1910 : 


Mutton, carcasses 1,997,633 ... Weight 48,930 

legs and pieces ... ... ... 2,587 

Lamb, carcasses 3,515,001 ... 53,645 

Beef, quarters ... 26,926 

Total meat 132,088 

Babbits (number) 3,138,888. Total value (export), 3,883,065. 

In addition, meat preserving is an adjunct to most of the 
meat freezing works, and adds considerably to the volume 
and value of the output. 

The value of the land, buildings, machinery, and plant 
employed in the trade is approximately 1,625,000 ; the 
number of hands employed, 3,250 ; and the wages paid in 
the year 1910, 325,000. 

When the question of entering upon the export of frozen 
meat was under consideration, it was held that if Id. per Ib. 
net could be realized by growers for their mutton, the pros- 
perity of the pastoral industry would be assured ; the average 
prices actually realized have generally ranged from 2%d. to 
3d. per Ib. for mutton, 3d. to 4d. for lamb, and 2d. for beef, 
besides the value of the skins, hides and fat. 

The success of the frozen meat trade has been reflected in 
the rapid progress and great prosperity of the Dominion. 
This is to some extent shown in the following comparative 


official figures, though the progress is not entirely due to the 
frozen meat trade, but is largely contributed to by the kindred 
industry of dairying : 

Population 1880 484,864 1911 1,057,818 

Capital Yalne of land in New Zealand 1882 101,000,000 1910 277,830,088 

Land in cultivation, area 1880 4,768,192 1908 15,679,943 

No. of cultivated holdings 24,147 1908 75,162 

Exports 6,102,300 1910 21,758,551 

No. of shoep in the Dominion ... 1881 12,985,085 1911 23.'. 

No. of cattle 698,637 1911 2,020,171 

From the inception of the trade in 1882 to December 31, 
1910, there were exported from New Zealand 71,000,000 
carcasses of mutton and lamb, besides millions of legs of 
mutton, notwithstanding which immense drain the number of 
sheep in the Dominion has in the same period nearly doubled. 

The frozen meat trade has revolutionized agriculture in New 
Zealand. It has greatly increased the value of land and has 
caused the adoption of improved systems of farming and more 
thorough cultivation, though the capabilities of the land for 
production have not yet been more than very partially exploited. 
The imperfect results already obtained have demonstrated 
that New Zealand has a capability of production surpassing, 
area for area, that of any other country in the world, and 
requiring only population, skill, and energy to develop it. The 
trade, supplemented by dairying, bore the chief share in rescuing 
the country from depression, and enabling settlement to be 
promoted, with the result of a vast increase in production and 
also in the national wealth; and the improvement in the methods 
of farming has restored the fertility of a large quantity of land 
which had been exhausted by repeated cropping, and has 
increased the fertility of large areas which were previously 
considered to be not worth cultivating. Above all, the pastoral 
and agricultural industries of the Dominion have never before 
been in such a sound position as at the present time. 



(Specially Contributed by Mr. Herbert Gibson.) 

IT is not easy, even for those whose memory carries them 
back a generation or so, to step out from the throb and bustle 
of the great Argentine freezing factories, from the flocks of 
comely sheep of typical breeds, from the great paddocks in 
that mighty zone of twelve million acres of alfalfa where herd 
after herd of sleek Shorthorns graze, from the whole panorama 
of this modern pastoral industry, and to see things as they were 
when in 1877 the steamships Frigorifique and Paraguay 
received in their chilled holds the first consignment of River 
Plate fresh meat to be conveyed to Europe. 

It is not, after all, so long ago. Men who still like to believe 
themselves young can talk of their stockbreeding experiences 
of those days. Wire fencing had scarcely yet come into 
general use and most of the live stock was herded and rounded 
up in open country. The water was drawn from the wells in 
a rude sleeve made from an ox hide. The thatch and wattle 
of the stockman's hut were bound with raw leather thongs, 
and often as not a horse-hide did service for a door. Cattle 
were unimproved. Here and there progressive breeders such 
as Juan Fernandez, Pereyra, Lezama, and others, had intro- 
duced Shorthorn blood to their herds, but the merits of English 
cattle encountered opposition. Their hides were too thin, and 
the hide on the ox's back constituted in those days half its 
sale value. Their flesh was too deep and fat to take the salt 
properly, and salted sun-dried charqui beef was the sole meat 
export. They wanted, too, more feeding than the hardy 
thick-skinned Creole bullocks. So breeders would have none 
of these sleek roan and red English beasts, and the bulls bred 
from them were unsaleable except to a most limited circle of 

\K(,I \ - ni'.HT TO IM.IKK, I RATION 307 

stockmen. The great majority preferred to go on producing 
six-year-old hide-bound bullocks sure of sale to the saladero 
where only a heavy skin and a good salting flesh were required. 

The sheep, with few exceptions, were merinos of varying 
grades of quality. Some breeders, mostly Englishmen, had 
imported Lincolns to their flocks. Their carcasses gave a 
better return to the tallow boilers. Wool, tallow, and skin 
\M TO all that sheep were there for. 

Of course, those were the good old days. Every middle-aged 
man since Adam has said that. But the concern of the world 
is more with the welfare of the community than the joie de 
vivre of the individual. If that welfare is to be gauged by the 
pastoral wealth and revenue of the Argentine Republic then 
and now, it is as little difficult to find progress as to find the 
principal cause to which that progress is due. The following 
brief statement establishes the former : 

Cattle ... 














Sheep ... 


(1 IH'C 

of animal pro- 





Official valuation per cow ... 
.1 ii it Hheep... 
Copulation of Argentine 

While cattle have doubled in numbers since 1877, and sheep 
have increased 13 per cent., their total local value has increased 
threefold ; and the revenue they produce, after supplying the 
local requirements of a population nigh three times as great 
as in 1877, has also increased threefold. 

Now, this has not been brought about because ox hides and 
beef tallow have risen in value, or because wool and sheep- 
skins and mutton tallow have risen in value. The augmentation 

x 2 


in Argentina's pastoral wealth and revenue is due, and is 
wholly and solely due, to the applied science of conveying 
overseas in a frozen or chilled condition fresh meat for European 
consumption. The improvement in the quality of the Argen- 
tine flocks and herds, the advancement achieved hi pastoral 
methods and in laying down alfalfa and other permanent 
pastures, have been in response to the demand created by the 
refrigerated meat trade, and have only been made possible by 
the increased revenue that trade has brought. Progress has 
been attained, of course, in the general economy of the stock 
farm. In 1877 every 100,000 sheep produced 158 tons of wool, 
and in 1908 the same number produced 248 tons of wool. 
Wool still constitutes 40 per cent, of Argentina's total export 
of animal produce. But in 1877 the total value of meat exports 
from Argentina, being charqui and meat extracts, amounted to 
480,000 ; and in 1908 the total value of meat exports, being 
frozen mutton and lamb, frozen and chilled beef, preserved 
meat charqui and meat extracts, amounted to 5,570,000. To 
this important sum charqui contributed 154,564 ! There is, 
therefore, sufficient evidence in the foregoing to justify the 
conclusion that the frozen meat trade has added four-and-a- 
half to five millions sterling per annum to the Argentine 
pastoral industry. Since the first shipment of frozen beef in 
1877 the cattle stock of the country has doubled and the 
pastoral revenue has trebled, and the difference between the 
ratio of progress in revenue as compared to that in numbers 
must be credited to the business of refrigerating meat. 

So far back as 1867 patents were granted by the Argentine 
Government for methods of preserving meat. Mysterious 
enough some of them were, as, for example, one whose sole 
ingredient was the oil of grape seeds. Another is somewhat 
vaguely described as " an application of heat or cold." In 
October of 1877 we find the first record of the refrigerating art. 
Mr. C. Tellier obtains a patent for the desiccation of meat at 
a temperature of zero by the application of methylic ether. 
Immediately following the name of this great pioneer in the 
refrigerating art comes another patent, granted in July, 1878, 
for freezing meat by means of sal ammoniac in a vessel or 


chamber with a temperature below zero. There is no need 
to follow the records further. The definition of the art of 
refrigerating meat had arrived. 

lit these experimental stages the cattle were slaughtered at 
the saladero of Don Eugenio Terrason, and the meat was laden 
in t he < hilled hold of the steamers at the mole-head of the port 
of San Nicolas, a town on the River Parana, between Buenos 
Air. s and Rosario. Success did not attend these first ventures. 
The oft-told tale of the difficulties attending the crude freezing 
of beef need not here be repeated. Mr. Terrason constructed 
here his first freezing establishment in 1884. It was subse- 
quently rented by the then three other River Plate freezing 
companies in order to shut it down, and its ruins by the side 
of the old landing stage of San Nicolas are a monument to the 
disaster that awaits the first pioneers in every industry. 

In 1882 Messrs. Drabble founded at Cain pan a the River 
Plate Fresh Meat Co., and a year later near Buenos Aires 
and on the banks of the Riachuelo Messrs. Sansinena and Sons 
erected what became at once, and has since continued to be, 
the most successful of all the freezing factories in the Republic. 
In 1892 Messrs. J. Nelson and Sons constructed at Zarate their 
Las Palmas Produce Co. ; and ten years later, following 
upon the closure of the British ports to Argentine live stock, 
and the spurt given to the meat trade by affairs in South 
Africa, there arose in rapid succession the four more freezing 
companies that, together with the three existing previously, 
represent the total trade of the Republic in that industry. 
Their total capital amounts to 3,160,000, and they employ 
over 7,000 men in the works and yards. 

The prominent place occupied by the Argentine in the 
British meat trade is one from which it is not likely to be 
displaced. Argentine flockmasters have experienced three 
years of drought, and the drought has been severest in the 
South where the sheepbreeding industry is still the predominant 
one. The effects of this drought will be most in evidence in 
the coming year, when supplies will fall short, but the shortage 
will not remain a permanent feature, nor is local consumption 
likely to overtake production in the visible future. Argentine 


breeders are giving more attention to the lamb trade, and new 
breeds of sheep are being introduced for that purpose. 

The production of chilled beef will further expand. It is 
already three times as great as the production of frozen mutton, 
and it cannot fail to increase, for all three factors, the breeder, 
the freezer, and the consumer, are profiting by it. If the freezer 
has encouraged the estanciero, by buying his steers at prices 
unheard of in the live-stock export days, the estanciero has 
nobly responded to the call. There are already twelve million 
acres of alfalfa in the country and the area is rapidly increasing. 
England has been drawn upon for her best cattle (and has, 
incidentally, profited much thereby), and large sums have been 
expended to secure good blood. There are over 50,000 pure 
pedigree cattle now in the Argentine Herd Book. In the rural 
census of last year more than half of the total number of cattle 
were returned as improved, that is, of an approximately pure 
type of the English breeds, and principally by the Shorthorn. 

There is abundant land both for breeding and feeding more 
cattle. It is sometimes said of the Argentine that agriculture 
is displacing cattle breeding, and sometimes the reverse is 
stated, that cattle breeding is ousting agriculture. Neither 
statement is true. They are component factors, sharing 
between them the process of occupying the West where formerly 
neither wheat nor alfalfa grew, but where a thin sprinkling of 
Creole cattle eked out a starving existence on the unwilling 
native herbage. Not one-fifth of that country has yet been 
called into productivity either for agriculture or cattle raising. 
" Visible supplies " there may be, but the limits to increasing 
those supplies are not yet visible. 

With the necessary material beside him, the land, the plough, 
the herd, and the willing market at his door, it would indeed 
be strange if the Argentine cattle breeder relaxed his energy 
and cried " Enough ! " In 1877, when Don Eugenic Terrason 
shipped the first frozen beef at San Nicolas, a prime five-year- 
old bullock was worth to him in his saladero 4. This is what 
he could pay to turn the beast into charqui and tallow and 
salted ox hide. In this present year of grace the freezing 
factories have been paying the Argentine breeders 16 for 


prime three-year-old bullocks. If in doing BO the freezers have 
made a profit, God yield them well of it ! They have very 
materially enhanced the value of Argentine land and the grass 
that grows on it. They have put a bridge over seven thousand 
miles of ocean and brought consumer and producer within 
speaking distance of one another. 

The United States with local demand outstripping their 
production of meat have already resorted to the River Plate to 
strengthen their supplies. In the fulness of time the Argentine, 
too, must cease to export meat. Before that stage is reached, 
before, indeed, the cattle land is fully occupied, the Argentine 
people will have learnt to economize in their own consumption 
of meat. The present consumption is enormous with relation 
to the population. It is probably over 500,000 tons of meat 
per annum, or, say, 200 Ibs. per capita. Agriculture is still 
a new thing in the Republic, and though the country exports 
over two million tons of wheat, the Argentines have not yet 
become great bread eaters. Vegetables, poultry, and other 
items of food, are insufficiently produced. The Argentine 
cuisine would be described in Europe as an extravagant one. 
All this must change ; is already changing. Since the freezing 
trade has made the storage and overseas conveyance of fresh 
meat possible, foreign and local prices have come closer 
to one another. The days are long since past when beef was 
sold by the piece and mutton by the carcass. A pound of 
prime steak costs as much in Buenos Aires as it does in London. 
It is not because prime beef is scarce, it is because the British 
consumer through the medium of the freezer buys his meat in 
the Argentine market. 

But though the Argentine increases its production and 
economizes in its local consumption per capita, the increase of 
population will ultimately overtake the former. The greater 
part of the territory of the Republic is good agricultural soil, 
capable of sustaining a dense rural population. Progressing as 
it has done hitherto, the Argentine will have a population of 
nearly thirty millions by the middle of this century. By that 
time it will have ceased to produce meat in excess of its own 
requirements, and it will have commenced to draw on Paraguay 


and southern Brazil for its supplies. But there is no particular 
occasion to discount so remote a future. Suffice it that in 
the meantime there is yet abundant room southwards, as far 
as the Straits of Magellan, for the country's flocks to multiply ; 
sufficient room in the farther west, in her northern territories 
and beyond their boundaries, in the rich pasture lands of the 
Paraguayan Chaco, and in the great cattle country of southern 
Brazil, to breed far more cattle than at present exist ; and 
sufficient room in the core of the country to graze on the alfalfa 
lands and to grow on the wheat lands enough beef and enough 
corn to supply, even beyond the lives of the young generation, 
the demand of her foreign markets. 

No doubt, too, there will still be then gentlemen who write 
articles. They will tell kindly of the good old days when, 
upon what have become the homesteads of the small farmer, 
there were paddocks of alfalfa each of which ran into thousands 
of acres ; how in these paddocks there grazed herds of Short- 
horn cattle to supply the export trade of chilled beef which at 
that time was one of the most important industries of the 
Republic ; and how, even as in pre-historic times Don 
Eugenio Terrason loaded fresh beef in the chilled holds of 
steamers at the mole-head of San Nicolas, there were men who 
foresaw and worked for a new order of things in rural economy, 
and how sometimes the failure of the individual showed the 
way to the success of the collectivity. Forsitan et nostrum 
nomen miscebitur istis. 



WHEN the mutual relations that exist between the great 
frozen meat industry and the many classes of traders engaged 
in its maintenance have been considered, there yet remains to 
be surveyed the effect of the trade upon the one great class 
on whose behalf it had its inception and upon whose custom 
its future rests. The public, and pre-eminently the British 
public, stands after all to gain most from the frozen meat 
trade, that is, if the 8,283,000 tons of frozen and chilled 
meat imported into the British Isles from 1874 to 1910 have 
advanced the physical welfare of the nation. 

How has the community been affected ? The opening 
chapter of this book dealt with the crisis of meat scarcity which 
culminated in the seventies, and the efforts of scientific men 
to meet it. A survey of ancient and modern history shows 
that nations eat meat according to their wealth, if this be not 
stating cause for effect. Conversely, John Bull without his roast 
beef would have made but a poor show during the last thirty 
years. He became unable to provide sufficient meat for himself 
when he became a manufacturer, and so it has come about that 
Britain in the Southern Seas and the Americas have had to 
turn wholesale meat suppliers for his benefit. The United 
States of America have furnished the expensive joints of beef 
for the tables of the well-to-do, and, not without refrigeration's 
aid, Australia, New Zealand, and Argentina did more than 
that. They have provided the meat food required by the 
great body of workers in city and town. The manufacturers 
upon whom the wealth and industrial fame of England and 
Scotland rest owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the 
pioneers of the frozen meat trade, by whose efforts their work- 
people have been able to get plenty of sound and cheap meat. 
When frozen meat was first introduced, there was great scarcity 


of fresh meat at reasonable prices in Lancashire and Yorkshire 
and in the cotton districts generally. It was frequently a 
matter of meat once a week ; now it is meat twice a day. 
The question remains, could the strain of modern industry 
be borne on the former allowance ? Taking the beginning 
of the industrial era in the United Kingdom as coincident 
with the middle of the nineteenth century, the following 
figures, supplied by Mulhall,* of the average price of "meat " 
beef, mutton, and pork for the quinquennia mentioned 
show clearly how prices rose as population increased, and as 
fresh meat became a more recognized article of diet : 
18511855, 6fd. perlb. ; 18561860, 6fd. ; 18611865, 6fd. ; 
18661870, l^d. ; 18711875, 8fd. ; 18761881, 8|d. 

Now even in the rural districts the peripatetic meat man 
has his beat, districts which fifty years ago furnished nothing 
better to the agricultural population than a bread and cheese 
diet, with bacon as a luxury, and an occasional joint of 
butcher's meat to mark a red letter day. Then take the 
position of the professional and middle classes. When English 
and Scotch meat would not go round, what a struggle was 
that of people with small incomes and large families (a not 
uncommon association thirty and forty years ago) in battling 
with their butchers ! 

The position at the beginning of the eighties was indeed 
serious, with the English meat crop equal to the supply for no 
more than seven-and-a-half months of the year. The statistical 
writers of the period were keenly concerned in the problem. 
Mulhall, after the success of the Dunedin shipment was assured, 
pointed out in his pamphlet, referred to above, that the farms 
of Otago and Canterbury could send sheep to the London 
market more easily than could the Tweed farmers 100 years 
ago (1782), when meat was selling at Id. per Ib. in Scotland and 
IQd. in London. When statisticians forsake the past and 
present for the future, even a Mulhall may make mistakes ; 
here is an extract from the pamphlet : " We may expect in 
1896 a population of 42 to 43 millions, and to feed our people 

* England's New Sheep Farm ; pamphlet, published in 1882. 


tOr tive months in the year we shall then import over 1,000,000 
tons of meat, the bulk of which must necessarily come from 
the Australasian Colonies " ! In 1896 the population was 
39} millions ; only 485,000 tons of mutton and beef (including 
live cattle) were imported, and out of the 87*3 Ibs. of beef and 
mutton consumed per head of population, 59*9 Ibs. were 
produced equal to eight months' supply by home farmers, 
and five-sixths of the imports came from the United States. 
Mr. Mulhall also wrote : " Twenty years hence New Zealand 
will have more sheep than Great Britain " ; the flocks of the 
Dominion in 1902 were about 20i millions against 25 millions 
in Great Britain. 

Popularizing Frozen Meat. 

A notable event in the campaign to establish the frozen 
mutton trade from New Zealand occurred in 1891, when the late 
Earl of Onslow, then Governor of the Colony, did much good 
by despatching six prime Canterbury wether sheep to certain 
gentlemen in London for their report. Lord Onslow's desire 
was to find out if the difference in price of English and New 
Zealand frozen mutton could be accounted for by a relative 
difference in the quality of the two kinds, and the experiment 
was an excellent advertisement for New Zealand mutton. 
Lord Onslow, by request, himself described this interesting 
experiment. His words, written especially for these pages, 
are as follow : 

" So far as my records go, it was in the year 1891 that I 
sent some carcasses of sheep, which had been especially selected 
by Mr. John Grigg and Sir John Hall, as four- and five-year-old 
cross between merino and Down, to Messrs. Fitter, with injunc- 
tions to specially thaw and deliver them to certain gentlemen 
whom I knew I could rely upon to give me an unbiassed 
expression of opinion as to their fitness for the table. Those 
were the late Baron Henry de Worms, afterwards Lord Pir- 
bright, Lord Rosebery, the late Sir Augustus Harris, then 
Sheriff of London and manager of Drury Lane Theatre, who 
used to entertain very largely at the theatre aftor the 
performances, the late Sir Henry de Bathe, who was chairman 


of the House Committee of the Beefsteak Club, the late Sir 
Morell Mackenzie, and M. Waddington, the French Ambassador 
in London. The other members of the Beefsteak Club who 
reported upon the mutton were Mr. Corney Grain, Sir Francis 
Burnand, Sir Squire Bancroft, and Mr. George Augustus 
Sala. All of them reported very favourably on the experiment, 
and I believe those interested in the trade in New Zealand 
made use of the reports for the purpose of recommending New 
Zealand meat." 

All these connoisseurs pronounced in most enthusiastic 
terms on the mutton's merits. Baron de Worms reported : 
" The freezing did not hurt it in the least, in fact, the greatest 
epicure would fail to discover that it was not home-grown." 
General Sir H. de Bathe went further in saying that the mutton 
was " better than what I can buy at Chichester " ! By the way, 
North Canterbury four- or five-year-old wether mutton is never 
seen at Smithfield nowadays. The difficulty in placing frozen 
meat on the footing in England which it deserves has not been 
with the " classes " nor with the " masses," but with the great 
and all-important section of the community, the middle 
classes, who are, unfortunately, to a great extent, despotically 
ruled by convention and prejudice. 

The consumption of meat, including pork products, in 
Australia is put at 233 Ibs. per head of the population, in the 
United States at 144 Ibs., and in the United Kingdom at 
122 Ibs. Refrigerated meat accounts for 22 per cent, of this 
122 Ibs., say, 27 Ibs. per head, and in a paper read by Mr. P. B. 
Proctor at the first Refrigeration Congress held in Paris in 
1908, the remark was made that these 27 Ibs. of refrigerated 
meat per head did not displace other meats previously con- 
sumed, but represented an additional supply. Could there be 
better evidence of the boon to the community as a whole 
through the introduction of frozen and chilled meats ? 

It has been possible for the British public to increase their 
consumption of meat in thirty years to the extent mentioned 
above owing to the low price at which frozen meat has been 
sold. The low price does not imply any inferiority whatever 
(the idea if anyone holds it that refrigeration has brought 


about any deterioration in the quality of meat consumed in 
this country must be dismissed) ; it simply indicates low coat 
of production in the country of origin. In cheapening the 
iiii tcher's bill by 25 to 50 per cent., surely the fanner in 
Australasia and Argentina has conferred upon the English 
householder a boon of incalculable magnitude 1 The house- 
holder when he puts on his considering cap will perceive 
another point, viz., that had it not been for the advent of 
frozen and chilled meat, home-produced beef and mutton, 
not being able to keep pace with the population, must 
inevitably have been forced up to a prohibitive price. 

The present generation obviously does not realize what 
frozen meat has done for them ; the value of a great movement 
is never properly appreciated except in the perspective of after 
years. A new race has arisen since the days, over a century 
ago, when it was necessary to put a clause in the articles of the 
London apprentice binding the employer only to provide 
salmon so many days a week, and since the later days when it 
was the ideal of happiness of the Dorsetshire ploughboy 
to " swing on a gate all day long and eat fat bacon." Now 
the apprentice, were he here, could batten on beef steak from 
Queensland and Argentina, and the ploughboy, as it is, no 
doubt, revels in his succulent New Zealand chop. 

In London, the biggest city in the world, and the centre of 
the largest Empire, refrigerated meat has its chief triumph, 
for the metropolis is mainly fed with meat from overseas. A 
certain proportion of English and Scotch meat certainly is 
consumed in London, but the West-end folk are very large 
customers for chilled beef of the highest quality and the best 
grades of New Zealand sheep and lambs. The huge population 
of London's suburbs absorbs great quantities of the frozen 
meat which arrives from all three sources, New Zealand, 
Argentina, and Australia. 

Frozen Meat for Tommy Atkins. 
One good thing frozen meat has done for the British public 
is to ensure a bountiful and economical diet system for 
Tommy Atkins. The meat issued to the troops at the home 


stations in the British Isles is beef six days a week and mutton 
one day ; the daily ration for a soldier is f Ib. in barracks and 
1 Ib. in camp. The beef on four days must be home-fed or 
" town-killed," and on the other two days frozen beef may be 
used. The mutton issued on the one day may be frozen. So 
the British Army is fed on frozen meat for three-sevenths of 
the year : could there be a better evidence of its sustaining 
power ? For many years the Army commissariat stuck out 
against the use of frozen beef, using chilled American 
instead, and the change made some years ago in favour of 
frozen is a welcome sign of the officials' conversion to reform and 
retrenchment. The War Office is a keen buyer ; wether mutton 
from 50 to 70 Ibs. only is accepted, beef must be 170 to 200 Ibs. 
per quarter, and beef and mutton must have the original labels 
attached. Tommy Atkins wants beef all the time, but for his 
well-being the doctors modify this stimulating diet with one 
day of mutton. It was about 1902 that the War Office took the 
step of insisting that only home-bred and/or " Colonial " meat 
be supplied to the troops in the United Kingdom. This 
measure of preference to British produce, absolutely prohibiting 
the use of American and Argentine beef and mutton, came 
about through the influence of Mr. Joseph Chamberlain, then 
Colonial Secretary. The principle enunciated by this policy was 
so startling and revolutionary that many persons have wondered 
how it escaped the notice of Mr. Chamberlain's political 
opponents. Argentina suffered some inconvenience in con- 
sequence, and New Zealand ewe mutton jumped into favour 
with contractors. The supplying of ewe mutton from New 
Zealand spoiled the colonial contract trade. Argentina then 
shipped nothing but wethers and gave more satisfaction. 
Because Australasia was unable to supply the quantity 
required, hi 1906 this contract clause became a dead letter. 
Since then sundry members of the House of Commons have 
from the Opposition benches inveighed against this letting in 
of the "foreigner," but owing to the irregular arrival of 
supplies from our own overseas Dominions the Government 
has remained under the necessity of maintaining the policy 
of the open door in Army frozen meat contracts. 


The contractor is a patron of the frozen meat trade to some 
purpose. He supplies frozen meat in considerable bulk to 
unions, asylums, and other institutions in England, and some 
Sinithfield traders make a speciality of catering for this 
trade, the profits in which, probably, are quite moderate. A 
saving of 1,000 a year is easily effected in the expenditure of 
one of these public institutions by substituting frozen for home- 
produced meat. It is amusing to note the protests of the 
inmates when such a step is taken ; what is good enough for 
Peers and the Beef Steak Club will not do for the paupers, or 
can it be that the grumble of old-fashioned prejudice is aroused 
by " officious " guardians ? 



SEEING that the refrigerated meat industry in its forward 
movement naturally brings under discussion the question of 
home supplies, it is not out of place here to make a brief 
examination of the position of the English and Scotch grazier 
and sheep farmer in regard to the importation of frozen meats. 
In one sense the home producer has obviously been injured, 
because the imports of meat must tend to keep prices at a 
lower level than they would be if home supplies were alone 
available. But as the latter eventuality is out of the question, 
as far as England is concerned, one may at once turn to the 
real issue and consider whether the imports of meat have been 
of such magnitude and character as seriously to injure the 
British farmer or to make his operations altogether unremunera- 

The authors have consulted several gentlemen who are 
acknowledged authorities on this question. Mr. R. E. Turnbull, 
F.R.S.S., has been kind enough to work out a comparison 
between the years 1880 and 1910 as to the supplies of meat 
available for consumption. 

1880 Compared with 1910. 

Population of the United Kingdom, 34,772,000. 

Supply of home-fed stock : 

Dressed weight 

2,580,000 fat cattle and veal calves 468,700 

10,860,000 sheep and lambs 300,800 

4,800,000 pigs for pork and bacon 288,000 

18,210,000 Home supply 1,057,500 

Imports 528,500 

Total supply of dressed meat 1,586,000 

TIN-: POSITION OF TIII. iiitrnsii r.\mn K 

Home supply 66| per cent., foreign and colonial 33| per cent. 
Per head of population, 102 Ibs., viz., home supply 68 Ibs., 
imported 34 Ibs. Average price of home-fed cattle (offal given 
in) about lid. per lb., and of sheep about 9J</. 

The three yean 1879, 1880, and 1881, were the most disas- 
trous for owners of sheep in this country that any farmer now 
living ever experienced. 

The total number of sheep and lambs in the United Kingdom 
in June, 1879, was 32,238,000 ; in June, 1882, the number was 
only 27,448,000 or 4,790,000 (14'85 per cent.) less than in 
1879. Liver fluke was the malady that caused the loss. The 
harvest of 1879 was gathered in wretched condition, the rain- 
fall occurring during harvest and being very excessive. 


Population of the United Kingdom, 44,850,000. 
Supply of home-fed stock : 

DretMd weight 

3,226,000 fat cattle and veal calves 
12,622,000 fat sheep and lambs 
5,098,000 fat pigs 


20,946,000 Home supply 

Imported meat and meat from imported stock : 

Beef and veal 

Mutton and lamb 

Pork, bacon and hams 






Total supply of dressed meat 


Home supply, 66 } per cent., foreign and colonial, 44 per 
cent. Per head of population, 114 Ibs., viz., home supply, 
63 Ibs., imported, 51 Ibs. 

In 1910 the total supply of meat (beef, veal, mutton, lamb, 
pork, bacon, and hams) exceeded the supply in 1880 by 
14,382,000 cwts., or by rather more than 45 per cent. The 
increase in population was 10,078,000 (assuming that in 1910 
the population was 44,850,000) = 28*8 per cent. The increase 
in the supply of home-fed meat was 4, 260,000 cwts., or 20*1 per 
cent. ; in foreign and colonial the increase in the supply was 

P.M. Y 


remarkable, being 10,122,000 cwts. = 95'76 per cent. In 1910 
the supply of meat per head of population was 12 Ibs. more 
than in 1880, being 114 Ibs. as compared with about 102 in 
1880. (Of the total supply about 20,000 tons were exported.) 

In 1910 home-fed cattle averaged about \\d. per Ib. less than 
in 1880, and sheep 2d. per Ib. less than in 1880. 

Mr. Turnbull concludes his statistical survey as follows : 
" While the large and increasing supply of meat from abroad 
has pressed heavily on the farmers and landowners of the 
United Kingdom, the severe competition that breeders of cattle, 
sheep, and pigs, have been subjected to has undoubtedly 
resulted in a marked improvement in the quality of herds and 
flocks on nearly every estate in the kingdom. With regard to 
sheep, the number of sheep and lambs marketed in twelve 
months now equals about 40 per cent, of the number in the 
returns. During the ten years 1870 79 the number marketed 
only equalled on the average about 35 per cent. The quantity 
of mutton and lamb now marketed equals about 25 Ibs. for 
each animal in the returns ; in the earlier period the aver- 
age was about 22 Ibs. By securing earlier maturity and 
marked improvement in quality the home breeders have till 
quite recently held their own in face of increasing foreign 

" Some of the British breeds of sheep are now too heavy for 
the family requirements of the consumer. This is notably 
the case as regards the famous Lincoln and Leicester breeds. 
The joints of mutton cut from sheep of these breeds are too 
large for ordinary household use. (There is still a good demand 
for large joints for restaurants.) The demand is now almost 
entirely for joints cut from sheep of small or medium weights, 
60 to 70 Ibs. The Down breeds meet this demand admirably. 
The Lincoln and Leicester breeds thrive better than any other 
in the districts where they are bred, and having regard to their 
abundant production of wool they are not likely to be replaced 
by other breeds. With regard to cattle, the quantity of beef 
and veal marketed in twelve months now equals about 
116^ Ibs. for each animal in the returns. In the twenty years 
that followed 1870 the average was only about 105 Ibs. The 


improvement is much lees marked than in the case of sheep. 
During the last forty yean a greater general improvement has 
taken place in the quality of Irish and Scotch cattle than in 
English cattle. 

" The number of fat cattle and veal calves now marketed in 
twelve months equals about 27 per cent, of the number in the 
returns, as compared with 22} per cent, in the earlier period. 
The total supply now includes a larger proportion of veal calves 
than formerly. The proportion of well-fattened calves is much 
leu than was formerly the case ; this is owing to the greatly 
increased demand for new milk for household consumption. 

" The number of pigs marketed in twelve months equals over 
140 per cent, of the number in the returns. The production of 
pork, bacon, and hams, equals about 190 Ibs. for each animal in 
the returns. 

" The live stock industry of the United Kingdom in the face 
of strong competition from abroad is still fairly remunerative, 
except in seasons of drought or when the general trade of the 
country is severely depressed, and this will probably continue to 
be the case even should the foreign and colonial supply of meat 
continue to be as large as it now is. 

" To the wage-earning classes the abundant supply of im- 
ported meat has proved to be a great boon. I am of opinion that 
the consumer has laroely benefited by the exportation of well- 
bred cattle and sheep to other countries, because this has 
resulted in an abundant supply of meat of fairly good quality, 
and also a considerable supply of excellent quality. The 
number of emr farmers who have benefited has certainly not 
been large, only breeders of pedigree stock have benefited, 
the rest a large majority have suffered very severely." 

A University Professor's Opinion. Professor Robert Wallace, 
of the University of Edinburgh, on being asked for his views, 
sent the following lines : 

" With reference to the position of the British farmer in 
relation to the enormous increase in the imports of frozen 
meat from abroad, I am convinced that he would have been 
ruined but for the increased annual supply of gold which 
prevented prices falling as they would have done had the 

Y 2 


quantity theory of money not come to his assistance. On the 
other hand, the increased supply of meat from abroad has 
been a blessing in disguise to the farmer as well as to the 
consumer, for without the foreign competition, which the 
farmer has, I think, on the whole, very successfully withstood, 
prices of butchers' meat would have risen out of all proportion 
to its food value in relation to other commodities, and the 
ignorant people would have blamed the farmer and created 
disturbances and rioting such as have recently occurred in 
France which would have upset the social order of things 
and been bad for the farmer as well as for the country as 
a whole." 

A Pessimistic Note from Yorkshire. How the sheep farmers 
of Yorkshire and Scotland have been adversely affected is 
shown by an extract from the letter of one of them, Mr. John 
Mackenzie, North-Cote, near Skip ton. " Speaking as a sheep 
owner myself, I should say that the importation of frozen 
mutton has reduced the profits of the rank and file of British 
flock owners to vanishing point. By ' rank and file ' I, of 
course, mean sheep owners who are entirely dependent on the 
breeding and rearing of store sheep for their revenue. Indeed, 
over large tracts of the Scottish Highlands the business 
has had to be entirely abandoned ; vast areas of excellent 
sheep land (mountain) having been cleared of sheep in recent 
years and put under deer, the former occupiers (most grazing 
runs are leaseholds) of those lands, in many instances, betaking 
themselves to Australia, New Zealand, the Argentine, and the 
United States of America, where, as a rule, they usually amass 
fortunes by following the occupation at which they could not 
make bread and butter at home. And I am quite within the 
mark in saying that the pressure on the home producer is not 
yet nearly so acute as it will be. Every man who has taken 
an intelligent interest in this question can have no two opinions 
on the matter." 

The Splendid Pedigree Stock Export Trade. The imports of 
frozen meat into Great Britain have steadied the prices of 
home-fed meat all round for the last thirty years ; no more 
buying Scotch wethers (alive) at Is. a Ib. ! But it does not 


follow from that that the home trade has been robbed of profit* ; 
in fact, taking an average of ten years, Mr. A. J. Hick man, 
of Court Lodge, Egerton, Kent, speaking a year or two ago, 
said that " sheep growing is the most profitable branch of 
I'.ntish husbandry." Mr. Hickman, of course, did not include 
in his average the disastrous 1911 season for sheep farmers. 
One most favourable effect as mentioned above upon 
the home stock interests of the frozen and chilled meat trade 
has been the demand from South America and Australasia 
for pure-bred animals, and upon this demand the pedigree 
herds and flocks in England and Scotland have been largely built 
up, and brought to the present flourishing condition. Argentina 
particularly, as will be seen by figures given elsewhere in this 
book, has been a splendid customer, and no one can speak of 
the beef and mutton received from that Republic as a " for- 
eign " article pure and simple, considering that it represents 
cattle and sheep descended from the Shorthorns and Lincoln 
sheep and other breeds imported from Great Britain. Some 
British breeders of live stock have in this way immensely 
benefited by the sale of their stud sheep and cattle for 
grading-up purposes to the pastoralists and graziers of the 
Southern Hemisphere. 

THe Evidence of Facts and Figures. In order to prove 
the correctness of the view held by some men that 
the production of meat in the United Kingdom has been 
rendered unremunerative by importations it would be necessary 
to show that the numbers of cattle and sheep had been steadily 
reduced by the pressure of outside competition. But the 
returns show that with slight fluctuations the number of cattle 
and sheep in the United Kingdom has been maintained, and, 
indeed, increased. 

Cattlo. Sheep. 

1880 . . . 9,871,644 30,240,722 
1910 . . . 11,765,643 31,164,587 

According to the Board of Agriculture returns, " Cheviot 
hill wedder lambs " averaged in 18761880, 14*. 2d. per head 
for top quality ; in 1910 the price for the same animal and 


grade was 15s. As to store cattle, according to the same 
authority, a " Teviotdale stirk " averaged 9 8s. in the five 
years mentioned, and in 1910 the value is given as 10. 

It only needs the working out of the argument of this chapter 
to show hi how remarkably small a degree the large importa- 
tions of chilled and frozen meat have affected the British stock 
business. It is evident that the farmer has perceived how best 
to meet his competitor, by striving to produce only the highest 
grades of meat. So it has come about that the market prices 
for the best qualities of home-produced cattle and sheep have 
well withstood the attack from overseas. Two distinct trades 
exist, English and Scotch meat, and chilled and frozen, respec- 
tively, and though there is a considerable overlapping, the 
higher retail rates paid for home-fed meat allow of a 
premium on the wholesale market and on the farm for 
stock fed in British pastures. The new industry of frozen 
meat has found out new consumers in England. Of course, at 
the start the British farmers were alarmed at the invasion of 
their tight little island by American beef and New Zealand 
mutton, and the discussions at the " market ordinary " must 
then have been portentous. The new era introduced for 
English and Scottish stock raisers about 1880 looked threaten- 
ing enough. Rapid transit, cheap freight, and Governmental 
assistance and encouragement, helped the Australasian and 
Argentine farmers to launch their ventures in a style that 
promised badly for the British grazier, handicapped as he was 
with relatively dearly-rented and heavily-taxed land. That a 
difference in public estimation and price does exist between 
home-fed and imported dead meat we know, but it has not 
always been clear why it is quite so pronounced. Were the 
system of transit, handling, and cooking of frozen meat ideal, 
the margin of value between the two descriptions would 
probably be much less. American chilled beef admittedly 
equal, or superior hi some cases, to British in quality often 
sells at the same rates as best English. Canterbury mutton 
and lamb have been mistaken for English Down meat by good 
judges when the properly thawed out joint has been placed 
before them hot from the oven ; when cold however home-fed 


has the advantage. Bat it is inevitable that home-fed meat 
should sell hotter than frozen Australasian or Argentine, and it 
is plain that the British fanner has been far less seriously hit by 
imported meat than by imported wheat. 

The Farmer's Position under Free Imports. It would be 
interesting to read an article from the pen of a competent person 
dealing with the question of the British farmer's position with 
lower rents and cheaper foods to-day as compared with 
the times of high prices for their produce a generation and 
more ago. In the preceding pages of this chapter the references 
concern only the stock breeder, but as the stock breeder's 
art is to a certain degree wrapped up in the agricultural industry 
as a whole, it may be worth while in passing to record the 
opinion of many high authorities in Great Britain concerning 
the alleged decadence of agriculture in England and Scotland. 
It is very difficult to contrast the past and present positions of 
agriculture, because everything has changed so much. In the 
early seventies the capital employed in farming in the United 
Kingdom was about 450,000,000 ; it is now about 
400,000,000. The gross revenue, the average for the five 
years, June, 1872 1877, was about 255,000,000. It is cal- 
culated that the average for the last five years has been about 
200,000,000. According to official figures, the gross income from 
agricultural lands in Great Britain sank from 59,500,000 in 
18761877 to 42,156,000 in 19081909. Though these figures 
show a reduction in the capital invested in the agricultural 
industry to-day as compared with thirty to thirty-five years ago, 
such high authorities as Professor Wrightson and Mr. James S. 
Macdonald , who have been appealed to by the authors, hesitate to 
state that British farming is less prosperous than it was thirty 
to forty years ago. If this is so, then we must give the farmer 
credit for considerable smartness in changing his methods, 
bearing in mind the fact that in 1910 agricultural foodstuffs 
were imported into the United Kingdom to the extent of 
206,650,566, of which huge sum chilled and frozen meats, 
21,548,014, formed a part. A favourable change may come 
about when the Continental tariffs on meat are reduced or 
abolished, and the regulations, acting practically as a prohibi- 


tion to the import of frozen meat, are relaxed or removed. 
Then some considerable part of the chilled and frozen meat 
imports, at present finding their market only in Great Britain, 
will be diverted to Continental States, and the British farmer 
should, in consequence, be able to secure an enhanced price 
for his stock. 



SOONER or later in the history of a trade the efforts towards 
association among its members spring up, and it was early in 
1894 that an attempt was made to establish a society in the 
frozen meat industry which should form a common ground for 
dealing with the differences of conflicting interests in the trade. 
Unrestricted competition amongst holders of stocks had led and 
was leading to serious losses, preventing the trade from being 
put on a proper basis at the selling point. Some of the leading 
importers of frozen meat (Australasian and Argentine) then 
formed a " Frozen Meat Importers' Association," and a set of 
rules was drawn up. But the motif of the whole movement, 
the regulation by mutual consent of prices on Smithfield 
market, proved too strong for the organization, which broke 
down when some members, who acted in dual or triple capacities 
as Smithfield salesmen, dealers, or direct consignees, found it 
impossible to reconcile the interests of their own businesses 
with those of the trade as a whole. So after a few months the 
Association was dissolved. 

This preliminary failure, however, did not discourage those 
who had set their minds on the establishment of a trade organi- 
zation, and the necessity for a trade association was so urgent 
that in 1895 the " Frozen Meat Trade Association " was 
formed, with ten members, on wider lines than its predecessor. 
The pitfall of adhering to the principle of price regulation was 
avoided, ample agenda being found in the shape of matters of 
moment affecting the whole body of the trade, such as insur- 
ance claims, market customs, and the relations of importers 
with carriers, etc. It was soon discovered that there were 
many questions which could be far better handled by a body 
representing the frozen meat trade than by individuals ; so the 


Association gradually assumed an influential position and 
acquired important functions. 

Disclosing Stocks. 

One of the early schemes devised by the Frozen Meat Trade 
Association was that put forward on September 24, 1896, for 
the obtaining of reliable monthly returns of the stocks of 
frozen meat. This was outlined as follows : 

That the quantities held by each importer, whether in London or the provinces, be declared by 
the means of counters or coloured cards. The following numbers to be inscribed on the counters 
or cards: Nil; 500; 1,000; 5,000; 10,000. Different colours to represent the various classes: 
Australian sheep by white counter ; New Zealand sheep by green counter ; Plates by red counter ; 
lambs by blue counter ; quarters of beef by yellow counter. 

That the stocks be returned of the quantities held on the Istday of the month. Stocks to include 
frozen meat on any ship or steamer, docked but not discharged. 

That the counters be collected by a commissionaire calling at the various contributors' offices on 
the first Tuesday in each month, and that he be provided with a locked box or bag into which the 
counters can be deposited. 

That each contributor be supplied with a stock of the necessary counters or cards, which may 
be put in the stock returns box, either when the commissionaire calls, or at the mteting of the 

That a meeting be held on the day of the collection, at such hour in the afternoon as may be 
arranged, when the box shall be opened by a member of the Committee of the Association, or, in 
the absence of a member of Committee, by a member of the Association in the presence of the 
secretary, and the stocks then declared. 

Any contributor to the stock returns to have a general invitation to attend such meetings. 

That contributors be requested not to impart to the Press, nor to any private person other than 
contributors, the state of the various stocks. 

This scheme did not come into operation, but as the subject 
has received so much attention of recent years, the details may 
have present, and possibly future, interest. 

The Weekly Prices Cable. 

It was not until 1897 that the Association entered upon the 
most useful section of its operations, a phase of action which 
won for it prominence and appreciation in Australia and New 
Zealand. In that year Mr. R. E. N. Twopeny, the then editor 
of the Pastoralists' Review, arrived hi London as the delegate 
of the Australian freezing companies, and the Association 
arranged with him for the weekly transmission by cable of a 
set of quotations. The prices were arrived at by averaging the 
London market quotations furnished by the members of the 
Association. From 1897 to the present day the weekly cable of 
Smithfield prices amplified from time to time according to 
the needs of the trade has been despatched. This official 
record has been found to be of incalculable benefit to all 


engaged in the trade in Australasia ; it supplemented the 
eiratic cabled advices on varying bases which had previously 
been despatched by London merchants, and the cable is now 
printed in every journal in Australasia which gives commercial 
news. Some misunderstanding has occasionally arisen ; it 
has been supposed that the cabled figures represent prices M 
" fixed " by the Association. Nothing of the sort was ever 
contemplated, the cable simply giving a record, and as such, 
carefully arranged on the basis of figures supplied by the lead- 
ing operators, no more informatory statement could be tele- 
graphed. A reproduction of the first issue and the latest form 
appears in the Appendices. 

The Charter and the New Name. 

On October 26, 1909, a resolution was adopted winding up 
the Frozen Meat Trade Association, and passing over all its 
interests to " The Incorporated Society of Meat Importers." 
With this acquisition of its charter, the Association took up 
a variety of extended duties. 

The following are some of the objects for which the Society 
was established, as named in its memorandum of association. 
Not only was it formed " to improve the conditions under 
which the trade of meat importers is carried on," but also " to 
watch over and improve the conditions under which imported 
meat is prepared, packed, shipped," etc., likewise to assist 
improvements in methods and appliances. An important 
function is " to officially record and register the current market 
prices of imported meat in the United Kingdom and to publish 
the same . . . provided that the Society shall not fix or 
attempt to fix prices, or impose terms of sale." Other purposes 
are the collection and circulation of information among members 
of the trade, the promotion of discussion, and the undertaking 
of work as a trade society in securing necessary reforms, etc., 
from the Legislature and other authorities. The Society also 
includes among its objects the conducting of arbitrations and 
the nomination of surveyors, valuers, arbitrators, and umpires. 

Its scope and membership (including Australian, New 


Zealand, North American, and South American firms, ship- 
owners, bankers, underwriters, Australian Agents-General and 
Government Commissioners) now make it a very important 
body. All vexed questions affecting the interests of the frozen 
and chilled meat trade are taken up ; where wrongs can be 
righted, and reforms effected, the institution takes action, and 
much of the improvement which has been introduced into the 
working of the trade during the last ten years or so has been 
due to its interposition. 

One thing there is which the Frozen Meat Trade Association 
has been unable to do, viz., to introduce into the forward trade 
an approved c.i.f . contract form. For years this was hammered 
at, and at length a form, which seemed to meet all requirements, 
was welded into shape. But the great bugbear of the frozen 
meat trade conflicting interests has prevented the general 
acceptance of the form. 

Past Presidents and Vice-Presidents. 

The first president, in 1896, was Sir Montague Nelson, and 
successive presidents have been : 

1897. Mr. George Goodsir. 

1898. Mr. William Cook. Vice-President, Mr. George Goodsir. 

1899. Mr. Richmond Keele. Vice-President, Mr. William Cook. 

1900. Mr. George Goodsir. Vice-President, Mr. Richmond Keele. 

1901. Mr. William Blankley. Vice-President, Mr. George Goodsir. 

1902. Mr. J. N. Newman. Vice-President, Mr. George Goodsir. 

1903. Mr. J. A. Potter. Viee-President, Mr. J. N. Newman. 

1904. Mr. C. H. Inglis. Vice-President, Mr. J. A. Potter. 

1905. Mr. A. W. Pottinger. Vice-President, Mr. William Blankley. 

1906. Mr. W. Lane Mitchell. Vice-President, Mr. A. W. Pottinger. 

1907. Mr. W. L,ane Mitchell. Vice-President, Mr. William Blankloy. 

1908. Mr. Gordon H. Campbell. 

1909. Mr. Gordon H. Campbell. 


1910. Mr. Gordon H. Campbell, first President. 

Mr. William Blankley, first Vice-President. 

1911. Mr. Gordon H. Campbell, President. 

Mr. William Blankley, Vice-President. 

1912. Mr. Gordon H. Campbell, President. 

Mr. William Blankley, Vice-President. 

Mr. Thomas Guy Nind acted as secretary till 1909, when 
the position was assumed by Mr. Louis H. Furniss. The 
registered office is at 15 and 16, West Smithfield, London, E.G. 
The Society, which is split up into sectional Committees and 
holds periodic general meetings, has now over a hundred 
members, and it is certain that on the lines of its charter it will 
in process of time become still more effective in operating for 


/,.,- p \\ <-.'. 


the general welfare of the trade as a whole. The Society will 
be able to take action where individual traders and firms 
cannot, and its functions will include watching the general 
course of the trade and guarding the interests of its members, 
who constitute the importers of frozen and chilled meats into 



ALTHOUGH a detailed and technical description of the pro- 
cesses by which the science of refrigeration is applied to the 
frozen meat industry would only appeal to a very few of those 
interested in the commercial side of the industry, a more 
important and wider function is fulfilled by giving a brief 
account of the elemental principles on which mechanically 
produced cold operates to preserve the great meat supplies 
of the world to-day, and of the development of the application 
of refrigeration in the service of man. 

The Principle of Mechanical Refrigeration. The present 
glance at the scientific side of refrigeration must be as brief 
and non-technical as possible. In the classification of the 
types of machine the divisions adopted by Sir J. Alfred Ewing 
may well be followed. 

The first broad distinction that may be drawn is between 
those machines that use air as their working substance and 
those which use a liquid which is alternately vaporized and 
liquefied during the cycle of operations. 

In machines using air, the air is compressed in a cylinder, 
the heat produced by the compression is removed by water 
circulation and the cooled air is allowed to expand in another 
cylinder against a resistance and becomes further cooled in 
virtue of the work it does, and is then discharged into the 
chamber to be refrigerated. These machines are usually 
spoken of as compressed air machines. 

In machines using vaporized liquid the underlying principle 
is the using up of heat units when a liquid passes to a gaseous 
state, the heat used being said to become " latent." 

In such machines simple mechanical compression may be 
adopted as the means of restoring the vapour to the liquid 

A ft man if Exp*nr 

ii i .r-i K\I ist! (TOT) THE i UMI'I:KSS|O\ SYSTEM AM> r."irM 


7< fn>;- /i. :t:u. 


state, or the gas may be absorbed into water or some other 
liquid for which it has a chemical affinity, the machines 
adopting these alternative methods being grouped as "com- 
pression " and " absorption " respectively. 

Broadly speaking, there are three methods by which 
the cold produced by either of the above methods is com- 
municated to the chambers in which the meat or other 
produce to be refrigerated is stored. The direct expan- 
sion system is that in which, in the case of ammonia 
compression machines, the gas is allowed to expand 
direct into the pipes in the cold store. In the brine cir- 
culation system the cold is first produced in a vessel of brine 
by the immersion of the expansion pipes therein, the cooled 
brine being circulated through the pipes in the cold store. 
The third system of cooling is that known as cold air circulation, 
in which a current of cold air is passed into the store through 
ventilators called " air-ducts," such air having been passed for 
refrigerating purposes over a " battery " consisting of either 
direct expansion pipes, cold brine pipes, or an open flow of 
cold brine. The last method is said to have the advantage 
of not unduly drying the air, while it is also claimed to clean 
the atmosphere. 

Reference should also be made to the vacuum process of 
refrigeration, which depends for the production of cold upon 
the evaporation of water. This is carried out by means of 
lowering the pressure of the atmosphere in the vessel con- 
taining water, and the absorption in strong sulphuric acid 
of the vapour given off by that water, but this system is 
of limited application. 

Early Discoveries. The earliest discoveries in the art of 
refrigeration date back much farther than its application to 
the preservation of meat, and the history of the developments 
which have produced the modern refrigerating machine, 
though it need not be told in the present volume, is a thrilling 
one. Mr. J. J. Coleman, himself a notable pioneer of mechani- 
cal refrigeration, as our previous pages show, stated in a paper 
read before the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1882 that 
" although Sir John Herschel and others had directed at ten- 


tion previously to the desirability of utilizing the expansion 
of compressed air for the production of cold, the credit of 
actually constructing such apparatus appears to belong in this 
country to Professor Piazzi Smyth. In 1839 he had com- 
menced experiments. He seems to have worked for a long 
time with apparatus on the method of blowing air through 
loaded valves before the principles of the mechanical theory 
of heat as applied to gases were properly understood." A 
vacuum ice machine was invented by a Dr. Cullen over 
a century and a half ago, and Ferdinand Carre, a French 
chemist, invented the ammonia absorption machine sixty 
years ago. In 1834, Jacob Perkins invented a refrigerating 
machine on the compression system. The reputed father of 
the cold air refrigerating machine, the system of freezing so 
prominently associated with the early stages of the frozen meat 
export trade, was Dr. John Gorrie, an American, who lived 
and died at Appalachicola, in Florida. Gorrie introduced his 
machine in 1849, and now, sixty-three years later, United 
States citizens are proposing to erect a statue to his memory. 
There was also a long list of experimental work and commercial 
enterprises undertaken in Australia and New Zealand, and this 
pioneering effort is recorded at some length in another chapter. 

In addition to the brief summary of early refrigerating 
patents recorded in Appendix XII., it may be well to give here 
a few particulars concerning some of those whose names are 
prominently identified to-day with refrigerating machinery. 

Mr. J. J. Coleman, whose name will always be associated 
with the famous " Bell-Coleman " machine of refrigeration's 
early days, was, prior to his connection with that enterprise, 
one of the scientific experts in the employment of Young's 
Paraffin Light and Mineral Oil Co. In the paper which 
has been referred to above he gave some interesting 
particulars of the dry air refrigerating machine which he 
fitted on board the Anchor Liner Circassia in March, 1879. 
The plant consisted of two compressors, 16 inches diameter 
and 16 inches stroke, and was connected with a chamber 
of about 18,000 cubic feet capacity, including engine space 
and chamber walls. Mr. Coleman went^to New York 


Tit faff p. 33*5. 


twice with that machine, which was able to keep the chamber 
near freezing point at 60 revolutions per minute. Some 400 
carcasses of beef and large quantities of mutton \ven- carried 
on these voyages, the meat having been previously cooled to 
35 F. in chill-rooms in New York, and landed in England 
at about the same temperature. The machine, in fact, ran 
a great number of voyages with similar cargoes, finally giving 
place to a larger one, and being transferred later to another 
steamer. The owners of the Anchor Line, said Mr. Coleman, 
deemed it desirable to fit up thirteen transatlantic ships with 
such machinery, it being resolved to abandon making the 
machines in duplicate. 

A name connected with some of the earliest practical 
experiments in frozen meat export was that of Sir Alfred Seale 
Haslam, who was first identified with the science of mechanical 
refrigeration in 1876. Sir Alfred's first connection with 
refrigerating machinery was in developing the ammonia 
absorption machine in combination with his old partners, 
Messrs. Pontifex and Wood, whose business he afterwards 
amalgamated with his own. The name of Haslam is also 
identified with some of the earliest developments of the 
air compression refrigerating machine, and Sir Alfred became 
the purchaser of the Bell-Coleman patents. With regard 
to the early days of the cold air compression machine in 
marine work, the Haslam Foundry and Engineering Co., 
following the introduction of the Haslam " dry air " machine 
in 1880, carried the major portion of the meat imported into 
the United Kingdom for many years. The initial experiments 
made to perfect the Haslam dry air machine were carried 
out at Derby in connection with a large building fitted up by 
Sir Alfred Haslam so as to represent and give the working 
conditions of the freezing hold of a ship. 

Dr. Carl von Linde was one of the earliest discoverers of prac- 
tical mechanical refrigeration. Ammonia compression machine 
patents were first taken out by him in 1870, and the first Linde 
machine manufactured for freezing meat was patented in 1874. 

Giffard was another early patentee of the cold air com- 
pression refrigerating machine, his first plant bein^ pro- 

F.M. Z 


duced in 1873, and improved in 1877. It was in the 
following year that the firm of Messrs. J. and E. Hall, Ltd., 
took up their first interest in refrigeration by bringing over 
the Giffard cold air machine which had been exhibited at the 
Paris International Exhibition of 1877 ; and in the early 
eighties this firm was at work fitting ships for the carriage of 
frozen meat, etc. In 1888, Messrs. J. and E. Hall, Ltd., 
brought out the carbonic acid compression refrigerating 
machine, a type of machine which has had a very extensive 
use on board ship. Messrs. J. and E. Hall, Ltd., have also 
carried out a great number of installations on land, and are in 
the front rank of manufacturers of refrigeration machinery. 
The Oswestry Grange, a sectional diagram of which appears on 
page 126, is one of the many refrigerated liners fitted with 
Messrs. Hall's machinery. 

An early patentee of the cold air compression machine was 
Mr. T. B. Lightfoot, who became in 1890 the managing 
director of the Linde British Refrigeration Co., Ltd. In 1880 
Mr. Lightfoot introduced an improved cold air machine in 
which the expansion was performed in two stages, and this 
machine did considerable work in meat freezing on land and 
at sea. Mr. Lightfoot was also the designer of what was 
probably the first commercially successful ship's refrigerating 
plant in which a chemical refrigerating agent was used, this 
being on Messrs. Turnbull, Martin and Co.'s s.s. Perthshire in 
1893 (refrigerated capacity 240,000 cubic feet), all ships carry- 
ing frozen meat having up to that time been fitted with air com- 
pression machines. The first meat freezing plant designed by 
Mr. Lightfoot and supplied by the Linde British Refrigeration 
Co. was that sent out to the Wellington Meat Export Co., 
New Zealand, in 1891, and in the same year the two works of 
the Queensland Meat Export Co. at Brisbane and Townsville 
were fitted with refrigerating machines by the Linde British 
Refrigeration Co. 

Among the earliest types of refrigerating machines applied 
commercially was that invented by Mr. J. C. De la Vergne, 
who introduced a patent ammonia compression refrigerating 
machine in the United States, and had several plants in opera- 


TV fan p. 338. 


tion by 1880. The De la Vergne British patents were taken up 
by Messrs. L. Sterne and Co., Ltd., in 1887, and it was in that 
year that Messrs. Sterne installed at the Leadenhall Cold Stores 
a machine of 40 tons' daily refrigerating capacity ; this was 
the first De la Vergne machine erected in Great Britain, and 
it is still doing regular and efficient service. Machinery 
working on the same system is to-day very widely used in the 
frozen meat trade in all parts of the world. 

A type of refrigerating machine popular in Australasia 
and elsewhere is the " Hercules " ammonia compression plant 
patented and manufactured by Mr. C. A. MacDonald, of 
Chicago, U.SJL, and Sydney, New South Wales. Mr. Mac- 
Donald's first connection with refrigeration was in the early 
eighties, when, for a number of years, he built machines 
for Mr. David Boyle, one of the pioneers of refrigeration in the 
United States. The first "Hercules" machine was built in 
1885. In 1891 Mr. MacDonald fitted up the Cunard liners 
Umbria and Elruria for the carriage of chilled beef, and also 
five steamers for the Nelson Line, of Liverpool, for the same 
purpose. Mr. MacDonald went to Australia in 1894. Many 
of the freezing works in Australia and New Zealand have 
been fitted with " Hercules " machinery, which is installed 
in units as large as 240 tons' daily refrigerating capacity, a 
machine of that size being erected for the Municipal Markets, 

Air Compression and Chemical Refrigerants. As far as 
Australia and New Zealand were concerned, in the early days 
of the frozen meat industry and it is only with the application 
of mechanical refrigeration to the meat trade that we are 
concerned in this chapter what was known as the dry air 
process of refrigeration, viz., the compression and expansion 
of air, was adopted. The only important exporting company 
then using the ammonia process was the New South Wales 
Fresh Food and Ice Co., Ltd., of Sydney, which can justly 
claim the pioneer-ship of ammonia freezing in Australasia, 
that company having had an ammonia system in use at its 
works in Darling Harbour long before its adoption by other 
companies. Honour is due to the late Mr. T. IS. Mort, founder 

L 2 


of the company, for his indefatigable energy in persevering 
with his experiments with ammonia for refrigerating pur- 
poses at a time when very little practical progress had been 
made with it in any part of the world. 

During the early nineties, however, the old dry air process 
began to give way to the more economical system employing 
ammonia and carbonic acid gas, the former of these two 
chemical refrigerants receiving more favour so far as use in 
shore freezing works was concerned, and the latter being 
regarded with similar favour for marine refrigeration. Having 
become used to the system of circulating air through the 
rooms by the old dry air machines, which belched the cold 
expanded air into them to be pumped out again, re-com- 
pressed by the compressors, expanded, etc., in constant 
cycle, many meat experts then persisted that any system 
without such rapid circulation would prove injurious to 
the meat. The result was that, consequently, in the early days 
of the ammonia compression plants they were made to expend 
their energies upon cooling batteries connected with the 
freezing chambers by air ducts through which air was con- 
stantly circulated by means of fans, thus forming a complete 
cycle as before. After a time, however, this process began to 
wane, owing to some of the batteries frequently getting out of 
order and also on account of the immense amount of space 
taken up by the unnecessary plant and air ducts. Thus this 
system of refrigeration later gave way to the method of 
having the freezing rooms and stores fitted with direct 
expansion coils, and the Deniliquin works of the Riverina 
Frozen Meat Co., Ltd., can justly claim to be the first up-to- 
date establishment in Australasia to have its freezing chambers 
and stores specially designed for, and fitted with, a direct 
expansion pipe system operated by an ammonia compression 
plant, a combination now so widely adopted. 

It is a good testimonial to the quality of refrigerating 
engineering work to state that at a considerable number of 
refrigerating stores to-day there may be found in operation 
machines erected when mechanical refrigeration was a new 
(science, and these plants have been steadily discharging their 

MK. T. II. I.K;IIIK<>I. 

To fucf p. 840 

MI ( i! \\ICAI. in rm<;r.K.\Ti<>N S4t 

doty for anything up to a quarter of a century. British makers 
lay claim to the fact that such survival is more frequently 
met with in their machines than with plant made elsewhere, 
and certainly British refrigerating machinery has a first-class 
reputation for finish, reliability, and efficiency. The long 
services of many of the old machines reminds one of the fact 
that the improvements which have been continually made in 
refrigerating machinery have not, generally speaking, involved 
the adoption of new principles as much as the perfection of 

Insulation. But to revert to the remarks upon the element a Is 
of mechanical refrigeration, it may be remarked that the low 
level of temperature is preserved in a cold store by filling the 
walls, floors, and ceilings of such chambers with heat-insulating 
materials. A variety of substances of low heat conductivity 
are in use, such as cork, in either granulated or slab form ; 
charcoal, in either granulated or flake form ; silicate cotton, 
or " slag wool," a fibrous material the thin threads of which 
are of blown, fused slag ; sawdust ; pumice ; felt ; rice husks ; 
kieselguhr, a mineral powder ; and other substances. 

Modern Refrigerating Devices. Experience has shown that 
the application of refrigeration to meat and other foods is 
successful proportionately to the care with which it is performed. 
The effect of an irregularly maintained temperature in a cold 
chamber is harmful to the goods stored, and not only have the 
mechanical arrangements of the refrigerating machines been 
improved to avoid irregularities of working, but the devising 
of air-locks and loading chambers to cold stores, improved 
means of air circulation, and arrangements of circulatory pipes 
and brine vessels, has been a feature of later practice. Tellier's 
early experiments in the carrying of meat at a temperature 
which would not congeal it viz., 32 F. have their later 
counterpart in the great chilled meat trade of to-day, and in 
those ships in which the small ranges of temperature have to 
be achieved for the carriage of the meat at a chilling level the 
mechanical arrangements to this end have to be very efficient 
and reliable. So exact have the regulating devices in the brine 
circulatory systems of ship's refrigerating installations now 


become, that the makers' claim to be able to keep the tem- 
perature of a meat hold to within a degree Fahrenheit, or less, 
is justified. Two systems of brine circulation are in use, viz., 
the open cycle and the closed cycle systems. In the former 
the return current from the various circuits in the system is 
open and visible. In the closed system this is not so, and it is 
claimed for the latter method that with it there is no possibility 
of air getting into the piping and by air-locks preventing the 
proper flow in some parts of the circuit. One of the latest 
systems of temperature regulation in meat chilling ships' holds 
is a patent method of brine attemperation introduced by the 
Liverpool Refrigeration Co., Ltd. This works on the closed 
system, and in this method there are two systems of mains, 
one conveying the zero brine, which is pumped directly from 
the brine cooler, and the other conveying attemperated brine 
at a much higher temperature, pumped from a container 
called the " attemperator." Specially designed valves and 
" headers " control the mixing of these brine currents and their 
distribution to the various parts of the installation. 

Temperature Measurement and Recording. The careful 
registration of the temperatures of cold stores is an important 
feature, and an up-to-date method is to have thermometric 
apparatus the indicator of which is at a convenient point 
outside the chamber or chambers, say, in a lobby or office. 
These " distance thermometers " are of great service in refri- 
gerated vessels where varying conditions of temperature have 
frequently to be noted. Self-recording thermometers are in 
many cases used in the refrigerated holds of vessels, their tell- 
tale charts being taken as a log or supplementary log of the 
ranges of temperature experienced during a voyage. In the 
case of the Canadian export produce trade the Dominion 
Government has in force an admirable system in which it is 
part of the cargo inspector's duty at Montreal to place locked-up 
self-recording thermometers or thermographs in every cold 
storage chamber where produce is stored. These records are 
removed by the inspectors in Great Britain and at once mailed 
to Ottawa, while the instrument remains in the ship. Photo- 
graphic copies are made of the thermograph records, one copy 


of which is filed in the exchange room at the Montreal Board 
of Trade (Chamber of Commerce), another copy is sent to the 
Montreal agents of the shipping companies, and copies may be 
had by any interested shipper. The accompanying illustration 
of a temperature chart, or " policeman record," of the ther- 
mometric conditions of the inside of a ship's hold during a 
voyage, concerns, as will be seen from the particulars written 
thereon, a recent South American chilled meat shipment in 
one of Messrs. H. and W. Nelson's Highland Line vessels. The 
record has been placed at the service of the authors by Mr. 
A. R. T. Woods, the marine superintendent of that well-known 
shipping line. It was this gentleman who devised the first 
arrangement for temperature regulation by brine attempera- 
tion installed in 1895 on the Highland Chief, a chilled meat 
vessel still performing efficient service. Messrs. J. and E. Hall, 
Ltd., fitted in this vessel a vertical CO 2 refrigerating machine, 
which was at the time the largest plant of its kind afloat. 

Alarm devices to warn as to high or low limits of tempera- 
ture being exceeded have been adopted in connection with 
cold stores on land and at sea, and it is worth while to record 
one of the earliest of these, a clever form of alarm thermometer, 
which was invented by Mr. Francis Arenas, of Christchurch, 
New Zealand. The instrument was in the form of a metallic 
horseshoe composed of five different metals, its action depend- 
ing upon their varying tendencies to expansion and con- 
traction. The horseshoe was put in a square case placed 
vertically against a bulkhead. The instrument was set in such 
a way that its movements produced no effect within normal 
limits of temperature. Directly, however, the temperature 
rose or fell beyond the maximum or minimum, the expansion 
or contraction of the metals caused electrical short-circuiting, a 
bell was set ringing, and could not be stopped until the tem- 
perature had been adjusted. At the same time as the bell was 
rung, a disc was displayed at a little window showing the word 
" Heat " or " Cold," and clockwork was set in motion which 
automatically recorded the time when the temperature had 
been too high or too low. This alarum thermometer one of the 
authors inspected at 26, Jewin Crescent, London, in November, 


1897, and shortly afterwards it was destroyed in the big fire which 
broke out in that quarter, despite its loud alarum ! 

The Cold Storage Chain. One of the chief hindrances to the 
completely successful application of refrigeration to the pre- 
servation of perishable food products is the difficulty, nay, the 
impossibility, of having a complete cold storage chain from the 
time that the food is started on its way to the consumer to the 
time that it actually passes into consumption. In the case of 
meat there are many points at which this cold storage chain is 
broken. From the freezing chamber at the meat works it 
makes at least momentary acquaintance with the outer 
atmosphere on its being entrained, and even should the train 
journey to the ship be made under ideal conditions, there is 
the unloading and the putting either into the dock cold store 
or the ship's refrigerated hold. On its disembarkation, the 
outer air is again reached before the meat can be safely housed 
in the land cold store, and then again before it reaches the 
consumer the meat has several periods of exposure. Modern 
refrigerating practice has in several ways mitigated the 
deleterious effect which these imperfections in the cold storage 
chain are apt to have. Air-locks or ante-chambers are a 
common feature in cold store construction. When the produce 
to be stored is taken into these ante-chambers, the outside door 
is shut, and the outside air and heat are thus prevented from 
rushing into the refrigerating chamber on its being opened. 
A prominent example of the total avoidance of this contact 
of the produce with the outer atmosphere when the place of 
storage is changed is the use by the London Central Markets 
Cold Storage Co., Ltd., of patent " portable refrigerators," or 
large insulated boxes, into which meat or produce can be 
packed and conveyed either from ship to lighter, quay to 
wagon, or otherwise. 

Railway Refrigerator Cars. It is probable that if there is 
improvement needed in one stage of commercial refrigeration 
more than in another it is in the means provided on the railways 
for keeping frozen meat cool during transit. The modern 
railway refrigerator car is at the best nothing more than a 
glorified ice-box, and its interior is all too frequently an insani- 


IS-I l.\ I KM MII|II|; VAN. 



A faff p. 344. 

MI-CM. \MC.\I. KF.rKKi I. RATION -S45 

tary chamber. Means for the mechanical refrigeration of such 
rolling stock have been devised before now, but nothing of the 
kind is in general use. The ordinary method of cooling railway 
refrigerator vans is by means of a tank containing ice and salt 
freezing mixture or ice only, fitted at one or both ends of the 
car. The wagons themselves are generally insulated, chief 
protection in this direction being overhead from the sun's 
rays. The efficiency of such vans quite depends upon their 
special design and fitting, and their importance is very great 
where meat or other produce has to be railed over long distances. 
Their value in the refrigerated trade, perhaps, cannot be 
better illustrated than by mentioning that in the United States 
of America there are altogether nearly 90,000 refrigerator cars 
in service on the railways, where journeys extend over several 

Barges and Vans. The barges which often form the interme- 
diary between ship and cold store are now in a large proportion 
of cases thoroughly insulated, and the cold held in the frozen 
carcasses as they are packed tight in the barge converts the 
river craft into a veritable cold store. Where such barges 
make their trips only partly filled and unprovided with bulk- 
head compartments, it will be seen that their cargoes are 
liable to damage. In some instances where the barges or 
lighters have heavy duty to perform, refrigerating machinery 
is installed on them. A recent example of this is a barge, 
207 feet long, built in England for the La Blanca Cold Storage 
Co., and towed to Buenos Aires in the summer of 1910. This 
craft has two steel decks, and is divided by bulkheads into 
two large insulated holds of a total capacity of 80,000 cubic 
feet. Steam driven duplex ammonia compression refrigerating 
machinery is installed, the barge's holds are lit throughout 
by electricity, and are also equipped with an elaborate system 
of meat runners and hooks which enable meat to be dealt with 
in the most convenient manner. The mammoth barge is 
named after the company which owns it. Another refrigerated 
craft of still later construction, built for barging work between 
the Smithfield and Argentine Meat Co.'s up-river works at 
Zarate and the ocean steamers bearing refrigerated meat from 


Argentina to British ports, is the El Zarate, a fine twin-screw 
vessel, 210 feet in length, of which an illustration is given 
herewith. Her refrigerated capacity is 60,000 cubic feet, and 
Haslam's refrigerating machinery, cooling on the brine circula- 
tion system, is installed to maintain the vessel's cargo at either 
a chilling or freezing temperature. 

It is universally accepted that the conditions of shipment 
or discharge of frozen meat cargoes are improved in ratio to the 
proximity of the cold store to the quayside and the amount 
of weather protection which the meat can obtain on the 
quayside itself. Where frozen meat out of a ship has to be 
sorted to marks, the best conditions for this work are under 
shelter. Sorting sheds are the ideal for this, and by and by 
refrigerated sorting shed facilities will probably be available 
at all the leading ports. 

The importance of affording ample protection for refrigerated 
meat during its conveyance from ship to store, or store to 
market, etc., is now universally recognized, and efficient insulated 
vans, horse drawn or motor propelled, are in use in all quarters. 
Such wagons are, like other refrigerating apparatus, a subject of 
Lloyd's registration ; a common pattern of horse-drawn vehicle 
being of about 2| tons tare. Insulating material is used for 
packing the walls, roof, and floor of these vans, and air-tight 
doors are provided, some of the vehicles being equipped with 
meat runners and hooks. Experiments with motor traction for 
frozen meat were first made about 1900, and now the uses of 
this form of conveyance are many and widespread, both for 
town service and over comparatively long distances. 

Defrosting and Thawing. When frozen meat is being thawed 
out under ordinary conditions, the moisture from the air is apt 
to condense on the surface and thoroughly wet the meat, causing 
it to " weep " and become discoloured. Quarters of beef, 
with their great areas of exposed flesh, are particularly affected. 
The unsightly appearance of the meat is the chief harm done. 
Retailers have their own methods of dealing with this difficulty ; 
and they generally wipe off the moisture as it collects. Many 
mechanical means have been tried for artificially thawing, 
or " defrosting," frozen beef, and in few sections of the 


industry have the engineer and inventor been more active 
than in this the Patent Office records show a wealth of their 
ideas. Up to 1896 eight processes had been patented. 

No. 1 subjected the meat to a continuous circulation of dry 
air, formed by mixing cold air at a temperature of 19 and 
dry air heated to 70, the combined current at about 26, in- 
creased to about 60, being forced through the thawing chamber 
by a fan. Time required for thawing, two to five days. 

No. 2 provided for the circulation of air, dried by an arrange- 
ment of pipes containing cooling medium and suitably heated 
by steam pipes, passing over the meat by natural means, and 
by gradually increasing temperature abstracting the frost 
without depositing moisture. Time required for defrosting 
beef four days, sheep two days. This process was in use in 
London for two-and-a-half years, and at Malta for meat supplied 
to troops. 

No. 3. Heated air was passed over fused or crystallized 
chloride of calcium and, mixed with the waste " cold " from the 
frozen meat, was drawn through the thawing chamber by an 
exhaust ventilator. 

No. 4 provided for circulation, by means of a fan or otherwise, 
of dry heated antiseptic gas, preferably carbonic acid (CO a ) 
through a closed chamber in which the meat is hung, and when 
partly thawed, a quantity of carbonic monoxide (CO), for the 
purpose of giving the meat a good colour. Time required, 
\vith a temperature 80 to 120, mutton six to eight hours, 
beef sixteen to twenty hours. 

No. 6 consisted in a process for thawing meat by warm dry air, 
and the treatment used for warming and drying, the moisture 
being abstracted by contact with a deliquescent salt such as 
calcium chloride. 

No. 6. Thawing was effected by placing the meat in a closed 
receptacle served with heated compressed air. 

No. 7 was a process for hermetically sealing and protecting the 
meat from the atmosphere by immersion in boiling fat, or 
highly refined, tasteless, colourless oil, so as to form an imper- 
meable coating on which the moisture of the atmosphere was 


No. 8 was a process similar to No. 1, except that dry air was 
saturated with a regulated amount of moisture before being 
propelled into the thawing room. 

From 1897 to the present time the Nelson process has been 
in limited use. Noticing the accumulation of snow on the 
ammonia expansion pipes in the cold rooms at Nelson's Wharf, 
Lambeth, as the effect of freezing out the moisture from the 
air, it occurred to Sir Montague Nelson that it would be possible 
both to produce a dry atmosphere and one which could be 
varied in temperature while drying. This he accomplished by 
placing steam pipes under a grating in the floor and ammonia 
expansion pipes on the side walls of the room, having screens 
in front of them open above and below for the circulation of 
air. Eighteen rooms of this construction were fitted up for 
hanging quarters of beef or sheep, which meat is put into them 
in a hard frozen state direct from the cold rooms. On steam 
being let into the steam pipes, warm air rises from around 
these to descend on each side of the room behind the screened 
ammonia pipes, on which the moisture of the air is frozen, and 
retained whilst the freezing pipes are at work. By regulating 
the steam and ammonia cocks, the temperature can be varied 
from about 38 F. to 56 F., gradually getting drier all the 
time. Beef requires four and sheep two days to defrost under 
this process. When frozen meat thaws under ordinary condi- 
tions it looks blue and wet, by reason of the moisture of the 
air condensing on the cold surface of the meat, but the effect of 
Sir Montague Nelson's " defrosting " process is to restore frozen 
meat to its original bright colour and dry surface as when killed, 
thus enhancing its value and at a comparatively small cost. 

In 1894 Mr. Jacob Atherton, of Liverpool, patented a process 
for defrosting frozen meat by means of circulating an anti- 
septic gas round it in a dry and heated state. The British 
and Colonial Meat Defrosting Syndicate, capital 60,000, was 
formed to exploit Mr. Atherton's invention, and opened a 
defrosting chamber at 72, Cowcross Street, near Smithfield, 
doing a fair amount of business in thawing frozen meat for 
the market salesmen, at a charge of 35. per quarter of beef, and 
Is. per sheep. 


In 1896 Mr. Peek, engineer of the Waitara Freezing Works, 
Now Zealand, patented a plan for thawing frozen meat by 
blowing warm air upon it, and admitting atmospheric air in 
such a proportion as to approximate the dew point of the air 
in the chambers to the temperature of the meat. 

Dr. O'Doherty, of Brisbane, was the inventor of a process of an 
ambitious nature for "preserving "fresh or frozen meat: he placed 
his meat in an air-tight chamber, and then pumped in a preserv- 
ing gas, the temperature being kept between 30 F. and 40 F. 

Mr. Postle devised a simple plan for the Sydney Fresh Food 
and Ice Co., his defrosting medium being hot dry air. 

Messrs. E. Smethurst and R. W. Chapman, New Zealand, 
defrosted mutton by attaching the carcasses to the rim of a 
wheel 5 feet in diameter fixed to a vertical shaft. The wheel 
was revolved, and the carcasses swung outwards, and their 
rapid passage and centrifugal motion thawed the meat and 
prevented the forming of moisture. A machine was erected 
near Smithfield, and when put in motion, with fourteen carcasses 
extended horizontally from the circumference of the wheel 
whizzing round at great speed, the apparatus had a most 
weird appearance. It was dangerous withal, for had one of 
the flying bodies slipped its hook, the spectator might himself 
have become dead meat. The date of this invention was 
1902. It was successful only when the atmosphere was dry. 

Another thawing patent was that of Messrs. C. A. Lichten- 
berg and T. L. Washington, used in connection with the 
Mediterranean frozen meat trade for the troops. Hot and 
cold air thoroughly dried and mixed in proper proportions was 
blown by fans on to the frozen beef, the temperature of which 
was gradually raised to 60 F. 

Mr. A. H. Chapman, Otago, New Zealand, patented a close- 
fit ting waterproof and air-tight bag; enclosed in this, until 
the atmospheric temperature was reached, frozen meat would, 
Mr. Chapman claimed, thaw out in good condition. 

Mr. Fred A. Furlonge, Hawera, New Zealand, patented a 
non-porous bag for frozen mutton, but this was intended also 
to protect the meat as early as in the freezing stage. 

The Macmeikan defrosting process is worked on the principle 


of air sterilization. The supply of air is regulated by an 
electric motor, automatic inlet valves adjusting the air current 
according to the weight of the carcass hung in the defrosting 
chamber. The process, the proprietors of which are the 
Macmeikan Defrosting Process Co. Proprietary, Ltd., is associ- 
ated with a freezing system, and in respect of both defrosting 
and freezing very striking claims are made by the proprietors. 
A demonstration of the process took place in November, 1911, 
at Plymouth, and some meat defrosted by the apparatus was 
placed on view at the London Central Markets. 

The chronicling of these various patents is interesting history, 
but the net result of all these attempts to solve the problem is 
that defrosting has failed commercially. The Nelson process 
has a limited scope in certain directions, but, speaking generally, 
mechanical thawing of frozen meat was not, and is not, 
successful, because buyers decline to pay a small extra price for 
defrosted meat ; frozen meat is an article that has to be sold at 
minimum rates, and a retailer will not pay the additional \d. or 
^d. per Ib. that has to be charged to cover the cost of the process, 
and the New Zealand and other inventors in their patents did 
not take this fact into consideration. In addition, few of the 
processes were mechanically effective. 



ANDERSON, GILBERT, has a connection with the frozen 
meat trade which dates from 1891. Nine years had elapsed 
from the Dunedin'a pioneer voyage in the interests of New 
Zealand's meat shipments, and the enthusiasm which followed 
that successful start having somewhat evaporated at the end 
of the first decade of the Colonial meat export industry, there 
was a felt want for the application of more organized methods 
in the business. In 1891 the Christchurch Meat Co. asked 
Mr. Anderson to take up the position of managing director. 
Mr. Anderson had had a varied mercantile career, and he 
applied his commercial experience to the management of the 
company with such success that Dr. Symes, speaking at a 
meeting of shareholders on March 2, 1906, said that Mr. 
Anderson had given the company an assured position and had 
converted it into an institution of colonial importance. Mr. 
Anderson made a point of working up the by-products so 
thoroughly that they became one of the chief sources of the 
shareholders' profits. He also developed the meat business 
on c.i.f. lines with standard grades. The capital of the Christ- 
ohurch Meat Co. was 50,000 when Mr. Anderson took charge, 
and 300,000 when he resigned in 1906 ; the freezing capacity 
of 1,500 sheep per day had increased to 15,000; and the 
exports of mutton and lamb from 250,000 to 1,250,000 carcasses 
per annum. These figures include the capital and capacity, 
respectively, of the New Zealand Refrigerating Co., and also 
of a previous amalgamation, namely, that of the South Canter- 
bury Freezing Co., and the Wairau Freezing Co., all of which had 
been amalgamated with the Christchurch Meat Co. In 1906 
Mr. Anderson, having had a serious breakdown in health, 
resigned his position and went to London, where he now carries 


on business under the style of Gilbert Anderson and Co., colonial 
agents, frozen meat representing an important feature of the 
firm's operations. 

was a business started in 1827 by the late Mr. John Bell, 
and was subsequently carried on by his two sons, Mr. 
Henry Bell (now Sir Henry Bell, Bart.), and Mr, James 
Bell (now Sir James Bell, Bart.). Messrs. Bell turned their 
business in 1888 into a limited liability company, which a year 
later was taken over by Eastmans, Ltd., a concern formed to 
acquire this undertaking as well as the Eastman cattle and 
fresh meat business of New York. Messrs. John Bell and Sons 
began to open up meat shops in Great Britain about 1879, and 
the multiple shop company system may be credited fairly to 
their pioneering. When John Bell and Sons, Ltd., ceased to 
exist in 1889, the company had 330 shops in the British Isles. 
In another highly important matter is the name of Bell asso- 
ciated with the frozen meat industry. On p. 24 will be found 
information respecting the Bell-Coleman refrigerator, by means 
of which machine the first shipment of frozen meat was brought 
from Australia in the s.s. Strathleven to London by Messrs. 
Mcllwraith, McEacharn and Co. in 1880. 

BLANKLEY, WILLIAM. Mr. William Blankley's connection 
with the frozen meat industry goes back to 1886. He left the 
business of his father, who was a Leadenhall Market salesman, 
in 1884, and after a year's sojourn in Australia returned to 
England and associated himself with the fortunes of Smith- 
field Market, moving to the Japanese Village (then quite a 
" Deserted Village ") in 1890. Mr. Blankley was one of 
the earliest supporters of the Frozen Meat Trade Association, 
of which he was President in 1901, and Vice-President in 1906, 
1908, 1910, and 1911, and has throughout been an active 
member of the Council. In the early days of the Association 
there was some little friction between buyers' and sellers' 
interests, and Mr. Blankley was instrumental in forming the 
Frozen Meat C.I.F. Buyers' Association in 1907. The 



difficulties alluded to were, however, of a temporary nature, and 
the operations of the Buyers' Association were soon suspended, 
though as a body it still exists. Mr. Blankloy has always been 
a practical supporter of the c.i.f. method of conducting the 
frozen meat trade, without which he does not believe that the 
industry could have reached its present proportions. He is 
satisfied with the development of the trade as a whole, but* 
" deplores the obsolete and apathetic position in which the 
various insurance companies are content to remain." Mr. 
Blankley and other c.i.f. buyers are trying a new departure in 
connection with insurance, the results of which, if not equal 
to their sanguine ideas, must prove a great improvement, they 
maintain, upon existing conditions. 

NORTH WICK, SIR THOMAS, BART., was born in Edinburgh, 
and started at Liverpool and Manchester in 1863 as live stock 
agent. When the Strathleven'a cargo arrived in 1880, Mr. 
Borthwick was much impressed with the possibilities of the 
new trade, and he quickly discovered that the live stock 
business would be superseded by that in frozen meat. Fore- 
seeing something of the enormous developments which awaited 
dead meat import from Australasia and Argentina, Mr. Borth- 
wick decided to take a hand in the trade, and opened depots 
at Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow, and Birmingham, and in 
1883 became selling agent for the New Zealand Loan and 
Mercantile Agency Co., Ltd. In 1892 he brought his head office 
to London, where he secured a stall at Smithfield. Assisted 
by his sons whom he took into partnership Mr. Borthwick 
transacted a large wholesale business as importer and dis- 
tributor. Not content with importing and distributing in 
Great Britain, the firm turned their attention to frozen meat 
in Australasia, and opened freezing works at Waitara (1901) 
and Hastings (1905), New Zealand ; and at Portland (1903), 
and Melbourne, Victoria, as well as at Brisbane, Queens- 
land (1911). They also established branch offices at Christ- 
church, New Zealand (where the company now have offices 
in five towns), and in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, 
Australia, and greatly extended their Smithfield Market 

F.M. A A 


offices and stalls. In 1904, when the volume and scope 
of the firm's business had largely expanded, Thomas Borthwick 
and Sons, Ltd., capital 300,000, was registered. Mr. Thomas 
Borthwick, the eldest son, is managing director, and Sir 
Thomas's three other sons, Mr. Algernon, Mr. William, and 
Mr. James, have charge of the New Zealand, Australian, and 
Liverpool and Manchester businesses. This company's opera- 
tions, it will be seen, control at every point the frozen meat it 
handles, from live stock market in Australasia to the dead meat 
market hi Great Britain. Sir Thomas, who received his 
baronetcy in 1907, is a Past President of the Cold Storage and 
Ice Association. He has an estate at Whitburgh, Midlothian, 
where he farms about 1,000 acres of land ; he is on the Mid- 
lothian County Council Licensing Bench, and is interested in 
technical education. Sir Thomas has had time to take a 
prominent interest in national and local politics, and is con- 
sidered in the North a tower of strength to the Liberal Party. 

CAMPBELL, GORDON. Mr. Gordon Campbell joined the firm 
of W. Weddel and Co. in 1895, having previously been associated 
with the Victorian Government offices in London, where he 
reported upon and generally supervised Victorian produce. 
Mr. Campbell first became connected with the produce business 
through the late Hon. Robert Reid, of Victoria, with whom he 
travelled to England in 1893, when that gentleman was on his 
mission to find fresh markets for the sale of Australian pro- 
ductions in Europe, and, more particularly, for those of Victoria, 
for which State he was, at that time, the Minister for Defence. 
Mr. Campbell acted under Mr. Reid in London, and later on, 
for a period of about eighteen months, under the Agent-General 
of Victoria, and it was through that source that he came into 
touch with Mr. William Weddel, who in 1895 offered him a 
position in his firm. The arrangement being mutually satis- 
factory, the agreement was from time to time renewed until 
1906, when Mr. Campbell became a partner. Mr. Campbell 
was born in Sydney, but has spent most of his time in England, 
although for five years, from 1888 to 1892, he was on a sheep 
and cattle station in the north-west of New South Wales, so 

M|iIA> r.->l:l IIWHK, i:\Kl. 

To face p. 354. 


that his practical experiences of stock matters have been of 
value to him in his work. Mr. Campbell has been from the 
first in close touch with all the sections of Smithficld Market, 
and at the present time is President of the Incorporated Society 
of Meat Importers, a position to which he has been four 
times re-elected. 

CAMERON, HENRY CHARLES, who is Produce Commissioner 
in London for the New Zealand Government, comes of an 
old farming family, the Camerons of Balnakyle being well 
known in Scotch agricultural circles. Proceeding to New 
Zealand when a young man, Mr. Cameron became engaged in 
agricultural and pastoral pursuits, and has been closely iden- 
tified with the development of the frozen meat industry ever 
since its inception. Returning to England after several years' 
experience in New Zealand, he, in 1894, opened a store in 
Manchester for the high-class retail sale of New Zealand meat, 
as mentioned at p. 203. Some years later, having worked up 
an extensive connection, he transferred his Manchester business 
to Messrs. W. and R. Fletcher, Ltd., by whom it is still carried 
on, and joined the New Zealand Government as Produce 
Commissioner for the Dominion in London. In this important 
appointment Mr. Cameron had to take in hand much respon- 
sible work in connection with the importation and sale of New 
Zealand meat. Some of the work was far from agreeable, 
although very necessary. The prosecution on behalf of the 
New Zealand Government of meat retailers charged with selling 
as *' New Zealand " meat that had never left the shores of the 
Dominion, was successfully carried through by Mr. Cameron, 
although every difficulty that could be thrown in the way of 
prosecutions of this nature had to be encountered. Probably, 
on account of the fact that meat from Australia and South 
America has so much improved of late years, judicial pro- 
cedure of this kind may not again have to be invoked. 
Mr. Cameron has always been a strong advocate of adver- 
tisement by demonstration and of meat marking as a means 
for the development of the New Zealand meat trade amongst 
the better class of consumers in Great Britain. Possibly, if 

A A 2 


the pigeon-holes of the Government office at Wellington were 
searched, many special reports by Mr. Cameron would be dis- 
covered dealing with practical issues and vexed questions 
relating to the frozen meat export trade of New Zealand. In 
shaping the destinies of the trade, as far as handling and 
marketing in Great Britain are concerned, and in the depart- 
ment of work which a representative of the Government may 
properly take, Mr. H. C. Cameron has not played an un- 
important part. 

CHRISTISON, ROBERT, now of Burwell Park, Lincolnshire, 
who was one of the earliest pioneers of meat freezing in 
Australia, went to Australia in 1852 and took up pastoral 
pursuits in North Queensland in 1865, acquiring Lammermoor 
Station in the following year. Mr. Christison established a 
pedigree herd of Hereford cattle, and it may be noted to his 
credit that he was kind to the aborigines on his property, and 
that he trained them successfully as station hands. He also 
was one of the first squatters to sink artesian wells. In 1881 
Mr. Christison, observing the success of the Strathleven ship- 
ment, was instrumental in the erection of the Poole Island 
(Bowen, Queensland) refrigerating and slaughtering works 
for the export of beef to England (see p. 36). 

COOK, THE LATE WILLIAM, was for many years general 
manager in Europe for the Compania Sansinena de Games 
Congeladas. He was born in Argentina in 1851, and was 
associated with Messrs. Sansinena before they began freezing. 
Mr. Cook went to England in 1885 1886 mainly to fix up a 
freight contract, which after some trouble was arranged with 
Messrs. Houston. Messrs. Sansinena's business was in 1891 
turned into a company under Argentine law. Mr. Cook 
managed the European interests with great ability and enter- 
prise, and was a highly esteemed personage in frozen meat 
circles in London ; he had a clear perception of the problems 
of the trade, and had his own ways of settling them. He 
used to surprise the market at times by raising his prices 
when large imports of Argentine meat came along and lowering 


them when the stocks were getting low I Mr. Cook was full of 
ideas. One of them shows that he thought out the theory of 
" pro-cooling." Insulated railway wagons had cold air pumped 
into them at Havre by means of a pipe from a refrigerating 
machine ; so cold was meat thus kept on the journey to Marseilles 
that it arrived there with the frost on it. Mr. Cook in 1887 
changed the English head office of Sansinena's from Liver- 
pool to London, and at first had difficulty in selling Argentine 
meat against the primer New Zealand. He retired from 
Sansinena's in 1905, and died in Argentina in January, 1908. 

COOKS, JOHN, senior partner in the firm of John Cooke 
and Co., Australia, whose activities at the beginning of the 
eighties were a large factor in the setting on foot of several of 
the leading meat freezing and exporting enterprises in New 
Zealand, and whose present connection with the Australasian 
exporting trade is also well known, as a youth served an 
apprenticeship with the linen manufacturing trade in Belfast, 
Ireland, his native town. In 1873 he left for New Zealand, a 
young man of twenty-one in search of more robust health. 
Within a few hours of arrival in Dunedin after a voyage of 1 10 
days in the Warrior Queen he obtained employment in a whole- 
sale warehouse, but left it after three months to join the staff of 
the Otago Guardian, which had then associated with it such 
men as R. J. Creighton, Vincent Pyke, and Thomas Bracken. 
While in that service, one of the newspaper company's directors, 
the late Henry Driver, induced him to join the New Zealand 
Loan and Mercantile Agency Co., Ltd., of which he was the 
Otago manager. Four years later, in 1878, Mr. Cooke was 
transferred to Christchurch, and immediately became manager 
of the company's Canterbury business. At that time New 
Zealand was in a very bad way, having felt the influence of bad 
seasons and very low markets for stock and produce, besides 
which the City of Glasgow Bank troubles very prejudicially 
affected many New Zealand financial institutions. The efforts 
being made in Australia to transport frozen meat attracted 
Mr.Cooke's attention, and when the New Zealand and Australian 
Land Co. began its experimental shipments by sailing 


from New Zealand he determined to take a vigorous hand, 
recognizing that it was the sole hope for permanently enhancing 
values of rural lands and live stock. From 1880 until 1889, 
when he was transferred to the managership of the New Zealand 
Loan and Mercantile Co.'s Melbourne branch, he worked day 
and night in promoting and extending the New Zealand frozen 
meat trade, especially in Canterbury. The banquet given in 
his honour in July, 1889, by the Canterbury Agricultural and 
Pastoral Association and the Canterbury Chamber of Commerce 
was a unique compliment, attended as it was by most of the 
leading pastoralists and farmers in Canterbury, and also by 
the leading merchants of Christchurch. Mr. Cooke became 
manager in Australia in 1891 of the Australian Mortgage 
Land and Finance Co. He was a leading spirit in resurrect- 
ing the Australian frozen meat export trade, which had 
slackened off and threatened to disappear. Mr. Cooke 
helped Sir Thomas Mcllwraith in the formation of the 
Queensland Meat Export and Agency Co. In 1895, Mr. 
Cooke retired from company management, and commenced 
business on his own account, devoting himself chiefly to frozen 
meat export ; he acquired the Newport (Melbourne) freezing 
works from Mr. Hotson. The tide of demand for meat and 
other frozen food products that beat on Australian shores 
from South Africa during the war was taken at the flood by 
Mr. Cooke, and doubtless led on to fortune ; he supplied about 
90 per cent, of the Australian meat issued to the British troops. 
As beef was called for in that connection, Mr. Cooke erected 
the Redbank Freezing Works, on the Brisbane river, and 
acquired a large shareholding interest in the Burdekin works 
in North Queensland ; he also acquired the output of other 
works in Queensland to build up his beef export trade to 
various parts of the world ; Mr. Cooke, in 1902, took over the 
Sandown Works and other establishments owned by the 
Austral Freezing Works. It was in the early eighties that 
Mr. Cooke became intimately acquainted with Mr. William 
Weddel, then associated with the New Zealand Grain 
Agency Co., Ltd., and Mr. Cooke professes pride in the 
fact that he exercised some influence on Mr. Weddel in his 


subsequent determination to devote his future energies to the 
frozen meat trade. Some record of Mr. Cooke's work in 
connection with the industry is to be found in the chapters 
on Australian and New Zealand freezing works. 

Cox, E. OWEN, general manager in Australia of Birt and Co., 
Ltd., originally entered the Bank of Australasia, New Zealand, 
and was eleven years in that institution. When he left the 
Bank to enter commercial life he was travelling manager. 
Very many men who now occupy important positions in 
Australia in the mercantile world learned their A.B.C. of 
business in the Australian Banks. Mr. Cox was one of the 
first men in Christchurch to set the c.i.f. meat sales going. 
He came to England in 1895, and joined Birt, Potter and 
Hughes, Ltd., and took charge of their frozen meat interests. 
In 1897, Mr. Cox went to Sydney in the interests of the firm 
and settled there as managing director of Birt and Co., Ltd. 
During the South African War, Mr. Cox had, on account of 
his firm, a large share of the conveyance of troops and horses, 
and has been prominently connected right along with all 
departments of the frozen meat trade. Mr. Cox has a genius 
for details, which make him master of every department of the 
meat and meat shipping business, and what he does not know 
about it is not worth knowing. 

COXON, FRANK, set sail from England] for Dunedin, New 
Zealand, on November 11, 1881, a time when "refrigerating 
engineers " were not so numerous as they are now. He went 
out to supervise the erection of the first meat freezing works 
in the Colony, those of the New Zealand Refrigerating Co., and 
this work, which was successfully completed at Burnside in 
1882, made Mr. Coxon one of the pioneers of the frozen meat 
trade. Mr. Coxon prepared plans for the buildings of tin- 
Belfast works, Christchurch, opened in 1883, and had a hand 
in the planning of most of the early meat freezing works. Mr. 
Coxon has been associated all along with the development 
of t he meat freezing industry, and many of the Australasian 
works have been designed by him. It is interesting to 


recall some of his pioneering experiences. One of his 
early pieces of work was the dismantling and equipping 
of a wooden sailing ship the Jubilee, for use as a freezing hulk 
for the Gear Meat Freezing Co., of Wellington. The vessel 
had been in the slave trade, and large numbers of old hand- 
cuffs were found in the fore peak when clearing it out. The 
craft did many years' good work in the freezing capacity, and is 
still in service as a coal hulk in Wellington Harbour. A consider- 
able number of sailing ships including the Opawa, Wellington, 
Marlborough, Lady Jocelyn, Northumberland, Turakina, etc., 
were installed with freezing machinery after the success of 
the pioneer voyages. The s.s. Fenstanton, which was a new 
tramp steamer, was chartered by the New Zealand Shipping 
Co. in 1883. The vessel was not fitted to carry meat, but she 
was sent to Lyttelton, and, under Mr. Coxon's supervision, a 
Haslam freezing plant was installed. Gangs of labourers 
working the whole twenty-four hours were employed, and the 
job was finished in twenty-eight days ; that is to say, the 
Fenstanton was fitted with machinery, insulated, docked, 
cleaned, and loaded with 11,000 carcasses of mutton and general 
cargo, and was off to London within a calendar month. She 
was the first vessel to enter Port Chalmers dry dock. Mr. 
Coxon mentions that after this time the meat carrying steamers 
arriving at New Zealand ports exceeded in capacity the output 
of the works on shore, and that it was no unusual occurrence 
to have mail steamers lying off the wharf freezing a portion of 
their own cargoes on board. Mr. Coxon was employed by 
the New Zealand Shipping Co. to supervise the freezing arrange- 
ment of their vessels, and was constantly consulted by the 
Shaw, Savill and Albion Co. also. The first steamer of the 
last-named company intended for the trade was the Triumph, 
she was wrecked under the lighthouse on Tiri Tiri Island, 
Auckland Harbour. 

DALGETY AND Co., LTD., who have neglected no branch of 
Australasian produce in the scope of their all-embracing 
business, were, of course, one of the pioneer houses to help 
forward the frozen meat trade in the days of experiment and 


doubt. A tragic incident associates Dalgety's and the frozen 
meat industry. Mr. Richard Black wood, for some time acting as 
manager for the firm of Dalgety , Blackwood and Co., Melbourne, 
when on a visit to England fell dead with heart disease on th<> 
deck of the Protoa ; that vessel had arrived in London with the 
second cargo of frozen meat on January 22, 1881, and Mr. 
Blackwood had gone to the docks to inspect the meat. 


pioneer of the frozen meat trade, perceiving its possibilities at 
an early stage, and applying his organizing genius to, and 
embarking his capital freely in the new business in connection 
with his shipping enterprises in Queensland and elsewhere. 
Born in 1838, the son of the Rev. Charles Dawes, rector of 
Dilhorne, in Staffordshire, he entered at the age of sixteen the 
service of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co., 
and in this way was brought into contact with the late Sir 
William Mackinnon, founder of the British India Steam Navi- 
gation Co., with which concern Mr. Dawes became associated. 
In 1881 the British India Associated Steamers was formed 
to establish the Queensland Royal Mail Line by Sir William 
Mackinnon, who had been approached by the late Sir Thomas 
Mcll wraith, then Premier of Queensland. Mr. Dawes took 
a prominent part in this enterprise, and a regular monthly 
service between London and Queensland was established 
via Torres Straits, which did enormous service in stimu- 
lating the trade of Queensland ports and the agricultural 
and pastoral resources of the Colony. The Queensland Steam 
Shipping Co. was formed soon after as an offshoot of the 
Hi-it ish India Associated Steamers. This development brought 
the new coastal line into conflict with the old-established 
Australian Steam Navigation Co., and, as the result of pro- 
longed competition, the Queensland Steam Shipping Co. 
absorbed in one transaction the fleet of upwards of twenty 
steamers of the older coastal service, and the combined com- 
panies constituted the present Australasian United Steam 
Navigation Co., which rapidly gained ground, under the 
chairmanship of Mr. Dawes. In continuing to refer to his 


work in connection with Anglo- Australasian shipping, it may 
be stated that Sir Edwyn Dawes in 1890 took over from Sir 
William Pearce his controlling interest in the New Zealand 
Shipping Co., which then owned fourteen sailing ships and five 
steamers. Sir Edwyn's foresight suggested that the days of 
sailing ships were numbered, and he accomplished what might 
justly be stated as the greatest triumph of his commercial 
career, the complete reorganization of the New Zealand 
Shipping Co., and the solidification of its position hi the Colony. 
He first disposed of all the sailing ships and subsequently of 
the five costly steamers, replacing them by powerful and well- 
equipped passenger and cargo steamers, and this raised the 
company in a short space of time to a foremost position in 
the New Zealand trade, with a magnificent fleet. Sir Edwyn 
Dawes was a director of the Suez Canal, and one of the leading 
lights generally of the shipping community hi London. 
His death in December, 1903, caused great grief to a wide 
circle of friends in England and the Colonies. In reviewing 
his life, it may be said that Sir Edwyn Dawes was a pioneer, 
whose passion was for developing the undeveloped, bringing 
order out of chaos, and breathing new life into old bones ; he 
was ready to hand over to others the carrying out of schemes 
which he had initiated, whilst himself turning to some fresh 
task. Concerning especially Sir Edwyn Dawes's association 
with the frozen meat trade, both as to freezing works 
and transit, the following information may be given : 
Poole Island, Queensland. This is referred to on p. 36. 
Austral Freezing works. This syndicate was formed hi 1900 to 
take over the Sandown Freezing works, New South Wales, 
and the Newport Freezing Works, near Melbourne, from 
Messrs. John Hotson and Co. Sir Edwyn was chairman, 
and Mr. William Weddel, Sir George Mackenzie, and Mr. James 
Caird, directors in London, Mr. John Cooke undertaking the 
local control. The company's operations unfortunately 
synchronized with the great drought, and after incurring very 
heavy losses, the company was liquidated. Central Queens- 
land Meat Co. Sir Edwyn Dawes was indirectly connected 
with this concern, formed in London in 1901, along with Sir 


To /off /i. 362. 


Montague Nelson, Sir George Mackenzie, and Mr. James 
Caird. It took over, and still runs, the Lakes Creek Freezing 
Works, Rockhampton, Queensland. Queensland frozen meat 
shipping trade. From the early eighties up to the present time 
the British India Co. has been engaged in the shipping of meat 
from Queensland, sometimes via Torres Straits, sometimes via 
the Cape of Good Hope ; associated with them were the Ducal 
line of steamers, owned and managed by Messrs. J. B. Westray 
and Co., and the Shire Line, owned and managed by Messrs. 
Turnbull, Martin and Co. Sir Edwyn, as director of the British 
India Co., and chairman of the British India Associated 
Steamers, identified himself particularly with this branch of 
the company's operations. South African Meat Trade. 
In 1902, Sir Edwyn undertook the chairmanship of the South 
African and Australasian Meat and Cold Storage Co., since 
liquidated. The concern was an offshoot of the old Dutch 
company of Combrinks, since merged into the Imperial Cold 
Storage Co., which is in existence to-day. 

River Plate Fresh Meat Co., Ltd., from 1882 until the time of 
his death in 1899, was born in 1823. He went out to the Plate 
in 1847, but proceeded to Monte Video first, and on to 
Buenos Aires in 1848. In both places he established the firm of 
Drabble Brothers and Co. He came home from South America 
for good in 1868, only paying two short visits to the Plate after 
that date. What Mort discerned in Australia Drabble saw in 
Argentina, and, moreover, developed into a successful 
industry. Perceiving Argentina's possibilities as a cattle 
and sheep producer, Mr. Drabble in 1882 conceived the idea 
of starting the meat freezing and exporting industry in the 
Republic. He was then chairman of the London and River 
Plate Bank and a very large estancia owner, and he engaged 
a young Scottish engineer, John Angus, to go out to the Plate 
and fit up a freezing plant. Mr. Drabble had formed in London 
the River Plate Fresh Meat Co., Ltd., the original board of 
which company was composed as follows : Mr. G. W. Drabble 
(chairman), Mr. James Aiming, Mr. George R. Davies, Mr. 


Charles Gunther, and Mr. (afterwards Sir) Joseph Pulley. Of 
this board only Mr. Davies survives. The beginning of the 
great Argentine frozen meat export trade was the slaughter of 
350 sheep on October 15, 1883, and 7,500 carcasses of frozen 
mutton were shipped to London in November from the com- 
pleted works of the company in the s.s. Meath, which was fitted 
with Haslam cold air refrigerating plant. The Campana 
works were on the smallest scale, their area being 200 by 
100 feet, and Haslam machinery being used. Shipping opera- 
tions were harassing in the early days ; the company 
chartered the Zenobia (1884), Zephyrus, Zeta (1886), and Zarate 
(1887), and these vessels proceeded direct to Campana for 
their meat loading. Mr. G. W. Drabble was a member of 
the municipality of the city of Buenos Aires ; was one of the 
originators of the Buenos Aires Great Southern Railway, and 
the City of Buenos Aires Tramways, and the first chairman of 
the Buenos Aires Western Railway, which post he held until 
the time of his death. Although not one of the original 
directors of the London and River Plate Bank, he was invited 
to join the Board when he came to Great Britain in 1868, 
and remained its chairman up to the time of his death. 

FITTER, HENRY SHIPLEY, became interested in the frozen 
meat trade on its initiation, as a member of the firm of Messrs. 
Henry S. Fitter and Sons, of which he is now the head. The 
business was founded in 1856, and was carried on in the old 
Leadenhall Market. Originally, Messrs. H. S. Fitter and Sons 
occupied Nos. 192 and 193 in a side avenue at the Central Meat 
Market, but soon moved to No. 142 hi the main Avenue, and 
later added No. 105. When the old fish market was shut up, 
Messrs. Fitter applied for space there, but the Corporation at 
first thought they would reserve it for provisions and pork. 
Afterwards, however, the authority gave way, and Messrs. 
Fitter started at Nos. 358 and 364 in " The Japanese Village," 
in which section of the London Central Markets such a large 
proportion of the frozen meat business is transacted. The other 
members of the firm are Mr. Fitter's two brothers, Messrs. 
Percy and Lewis Fitter, and Mr. Fitter's two sons, Messrs. 


To J 'act p. :<<. 


Siilnoy and Erie, will probably shortly join the firm. Messrs. 
Fitter in their connection with the frozen meat trade have 
strictly adhered to the business of commission salesmen. In 
the early days of the trade the business was almost entirely 
transacted on commission ; but as the industry grew rapidly, 
the agents outside the Markets found that it suited their 
purpose better to sell on c.i.f. terms. Many of the market 
salesmen also found it more convenient to buy on these terms, 
rather than trust to the uncertain supplies which they were 
getting on commission, but Messrs. H. 8. Fitter and Sons 
depend almost entirely on the commission business for their 
trade, both in Australasian, home-grown, and Continental 
meat, the steady increase in the volume of their commission 
business having proved conclusively that their efforts have 
been appreciated by their numerous senders. Mr. Fitter's 
early recollections of the meat trade date back, of course, 
to pre-refrigeration days, when dealings were chiefly in 
home-killed meat, with Dutch mutton and pork in the 
season. A popular trade at the time was in what were 
known as Dutch " gigote," i.e, the haunches of sheep (not 
eaten by some of the strict Jews), cut up in Holland and 
shipped over to this country. This meat was not preserved 
in any way, but made a fair appearance on the market, being 
sponged down with salt and water when necessary before 
marketing. Mr. Fitter has recollections of the very first ship- 
ment of American refrigerated beef which came from New 
York. He also has keen recollections of the early misgivings 
of the public and of the meat trade itself as to the possibilities 
of ever firmly establishing the frozen meat trade. Messrs. 
Fitter handled some of the pioneer consignments of Colonial 

FLETCHER, MESSRS. W. AND R., LTD., is a company originally 
established as a private concern in the year 1888, which has 
grown continuously until it is now recognised as one of the 
most progressive and highly successful businesses in the frozen 
and dulled meat trade of the United Kingdom. It has about 
400 retail depots situated in the populous centres, besides 
wholesale establishments in London, Liverpool, Manchester, 


Bristol, Newcastle, Hull, Sheffield, Southampton, and Leeds. 
They are also owners of freezing works at Geelong, Victoria. 
The managing directors are Mr. Samuel H. Fletcher (son of 
Mr. Robert Fletcher, founder of the company), Mr. W. J. 
Kempson, and Mr. William Blagburn the manager of the 
retail shops. The two last named gentlemen have been 
actively associated with the business since its inception. The 
head office of the company is situated at 19 and 20, King 
Street, West Smithfield, London, E.G. In February, 1912, a 
public company entitled the Proprietors of Fletcher's (Meat 
Importers), Ltd., was formed to acquire the share capital 
interest of Messrs. Fletcher's business. " It may be interesting 
to note," write Messrs. Fletcher, " that in the early days of 
the frozen meat trade, imports consisted solely of carcasses of 
mutton, which, as everyone knows, have been augmented in 
later years by heavy imports of frozen lamb and frozen beef." 
Notwithstanding the increased shipments of chilled beef, they 
are of opinion that frozen beef will still remain a permanent 
feature of the frozen meat trade. 

GEDDES, THE LATE J. H., was prominently connected with 
the trade for the last twenty years of his life. About 1890, 
Sir Patrick Jennings, the Hon. G. H. Cox, Mr. Henry White, 
and others, were associated with Mr. Geddes in the establish- 
ment of the Pastoral Finance Association at Sydney, particulars 
of which are given elsewhere. In 1894 Mr. Geddes suggested 
to Mr. Henry White that he should try the experiment of 
shipping a few of his fine cattle alive to London as an object 
lesson for the Australian beef trade. Accordingly, 18 cattle 
and 1,000 quarters of beef were dispatched from Sydney on 
August 20, 1894, in the s.s. Port Pirie. Unfortunately, the 
engineers hi charge of the main meat cargo and of the experi- 
mental parcel of " chilled " beef quarrelled (there were separate 
refrigerators), bilge water was pumped into the pipes, and the 
" chilled " beef had to be frozen. Shortly after this Mr. 
Geddes experimented in Sydney with chilled beef, holding 
beef for seventy-two days at 32 F. A dinner to the members 
of the Queensland Club, Brisbane, was given, at which some of 


Tu faff p. 966. 


this meat was eaten. In October, 1894, " J. H. Geddee, Birt 
and Co., Ltd.," was registered in New South Wales (in 1899 the 
name was changed to Birt and Co., Ltd.). This represented the 
introduction of the important shipowning firms of J. Potter and 
Co., J. Gavin, Birt and Co., and Allport and Hughes. In 1897 
Mr. Geddes took up his residence permanently in England. 
At this period he made further efforts to open up the Continent 
for frozen meat. Retiring from his association with the 
Sydney company, Mr. Geddes, supported by Mr. Joseph Moore 
and other Smithfield gentlemen, negotiated with the Corpora- 
tion for a lease of the extensive series of cold storage chambers 
under the Central Markets. The Smithfield Markets Cold 
Storage Co., Ltd., was formed, with Mr. Geddes as its managing 
director, and in 1899 this became the London Central Markets 
Cold Storage Co., with which he was similarly associated 
until the time of his death. For years he was consulted by 
gentlemen in various parts of the world engaged in establishing 
systems of cold storage, markets, or meat distribution. Mr. 
Geddes was mainly instrumental in forming the Imperial Food 
Supplies, Ltd., and the General Produce Co., Ltd., and one of 
his sons, Mr. J. Robertson Geddes, is now managing director of 
the latter concern. One of the resolutions passed at the first 
International Congress of Refrigeration at Paris in 1908 was 
brought forward by Mr. Geddes : " That the refrigerating 
industry having attained world-wide importance, it is highly 
desirable that exact scientific data be obtained for determining 
the condition as to time and temperature under which perish- 
able produce can be satisfactorily kept." For many yean 
before his death Mr. Geddes had in view the application of 
scientific tests to determine how long bacteria could be kept 
at bay in their action in meat, and one of his last letters 
to a friend in the trade contained the following sentence : 
"My own impression is that chilled beef can be brought 
from Australia. I shall be very glad to place space at 
your disposal in the London Central Market Stores if 
you care about trying an experiment." Chilled beef was 
brought in 1909, and it was in that year, on March 22, that 
Mr. Geddes died. 


GOODSIR, GEORGE, director of Messrs. W. Weddel and Co., 
Ltd., is one of that comparatively small band which can 
claim not only an active interest in the frozen meat industry, 
but a connection with it which dates back to the very start of 
the trade, for his introduction to the frozen meat business 
took place when he wrote a report upon the outturn of that 
famous pioneer cargo of meat that arrived in the Strathleven in 
January, 1880. He did this when attached to the produce 
department of the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency 
Co., Ltd., whose service he entered in 1878, when that company 
was under the management of the late Mr. H. M. Paul. That 
early trade report of Mr. Goodsir's concerning frozen meat 
was the parent of many, for the Market Circulars, and " Annual 
Reviews of the Frozen Meat Trade," which have undoubtedly 
been an appreciable factor in the success of his present firm, as 
well as informatory to the trade as a whole, have long been 
under his editorship. Issued regularly for the past twenty- 
three years, these " Reviews " have been published in recent 
years also in German and French, and they have attained 
a world- wide reputation for fulness and accuracy of information. 
Written from an impartial point of view, these " Reviews," it 
is understood, are dependent for much of their value upon the 
goodwill of some of the firm's trade rivals, who are good 
enough to furnish their quota of information in order that the 
statistical records of the trade as a whole may be complete. 
It was in 1884 that he left the service of the New Zealand Loan 
and Mercantile Agency Co. to take charge of the London 
produce business of the National Mortgage and Agency Co. 
of New Zealand, Ltd., but returned to the former company in 
the following year in order to take up a more responsible 
post. In 1888 he became a partner with Mr. William 
Weddel, and his brother, the late Mr. P. G. Weddel, with 
the object of developing their frozen meat and general 
produce business. From the outset the combination proved 
successful, and the firm of W. Weddel and Co. forged ahead 
rapidly, extending its colonial and foreign connections until 
it handled a large percentage of the meat imports of the 
United Kingdom. Mr. Goodsir recently visited almost all the 


To faff /. 368. 


freezing establishments in Australia and New Zealand, and in 
this way has completed his acquaintance with practically thu 
whole gamut of experiences in this many-sided and world-wide 
industry. A firm believer in the fact that the frozen meat 
trade is still in its infancy, Mr. Goodsir has taken an active part 
in the pioneering efforts of his firm to secure new markets on 
the Continent of Europe and elsewhere, and also in the recent 
successful experiments in the carriage of chilled beef from 
Australia. He has worked all along for the establishment of 
the frozen meat trade on well organized and systematic 
business lines, and was to a great degree the pioneer of the 
system of " grading " frozen meat, upon which system the 
now extensive c.i.f. or " forward " trade in frozen meats 
was gradually built up. As one of the promoters and a past 
President of the Frozen Meat Trade Association (now the Incor- 
porated Society of Meat Importers), Mr. Goodsir has taken 
his full share in the general development of this trade, apart 
altogether from any personal interest. He is a Fellow of the 
Royal Colonial Institute and of the Royal Statistical Society. 

GORDON, WOODEOFFE AND Co., whose interests had previously 
been confined to India and the East generally, opened a Colonial 
department in 1895, and devoted themselves specially to the 
frozen meat trade, in which as agents they hold a prominent 
position. In the great extension of the " forward " trade, and 
the improved organization and methods by which it is worked, 
the firm have taken a leading part. The partners in the 
Colonial department of the business are Messrs. G. W. P. 
Woodroffe, W. A. Wigram (brother of the Hon. H. F. Wigram 
of New Zealand), E. H. Robinson, and Robert Galloway. 
Mr. Robinson visited New Zealand in 1894, and has since 
identified himself very thoroughly with all the rapidly develop- 
ing features of the trade in the interests of his firm. Mr. R. 
Galloway, formerly the London representative of the Christ- 
church Meat Co., joined the firm in 1900, and was made a 
partner in 1909. 

New Zealand Shipping Co.'s Reinuera, has extracted a few 

F.M. B B 


particulars from the log of the Mataura, the first vessel of 
the line to bring frozen meat from New Zealand. Captain 
Greenstreet is a most popular skipper on the Anglo-New Zealand 
line ; he is indeed a veteran, having made eighty round 
trips, and sailed or steamed over 2,000,000 miles. " November, 
1881. Appointed master of the barque Mataura, about 900 
tons register. The barque was being insulated at the fore end 
and fitted with Haslam's dry air machinery. Mr. (now Sir) 
Alfred Haslam was accidentally shut up in a small refrigerated 
chamber, and would have been frozen to death had he not been 
discovered in time. Left London December 15. Crossed 
Equator January 15. Caught albicore, 120 Ibs. weight, 5 ft. 
1 in. in girth. This fish, and birds shot in Southern Ocean, 
were put in the chamber, and on arrival at Lyttelton were 
presented to Sir Julius Von Haast for the Christchurch Museum. 
April 27, made fast to Port Chalmers wharf, 150 carcasses per 
day were sent on board and frozen in 'tween decks for twenty- 
four hours, then bagged and stowed in lower hold. The meat 
cargo consisted of 3,844 carcasses of mutton, 24 quarters beef, 
and 77 pigs : total weight, 322,092 Ibs., freight, 3,340. The 
voyage home lasted 103 days, and great worry was experienced 
as the boiler feed pumps would not act on one tack when the 
ship heeled over. The voyage was a success, and the meat was 
delivered in excellent condition." Captain Greenstreet's 
second voyage in the Mataura with meat was not so successful. 
Whilst he was taking delivery at Auckland of sheep carcasses, a 
vessel was discharging bone dust near, causing a fearful stench, 
and, doubtless, distributing microbes, germs, and bacteria ; 
about 4,000 of the carcasses turned out bad hi consequence. 
On the homeward passage a game of snowballing was indulged 
in at the Equator. Ten years later Captain Greenstreet 
commanded the s.s. Ruahine, with a carrying capacity of 
120,000 carcasses. 

GBIGG, THE LATE JOHN, of Longbeach, New Zealand, can 
claim a pioneer's part in the frozen meat trade. A portion of 
the cargo of the sailing ship Dunedin, which took New Zealand's 
first frozen consignment to England, consisted of some half- 

. \IIVIN nru.KKi K. 

To faff p. 3"o. 


bred Shropshire wethers and lambs sent by Mr. Grigg 
from Longbeaoh, which has been spoken of as the " beet farm 
in the world." From the first, Mr. Grigg expressed great 
confidence and hope in the future of the frozen meat trade, and 
with others he built the first freezing works in Canterbury, at 
Belfast, afterwards forming a small fanners' company. His 
early efforts among the sheepowners to get them to send sheep 
for shipment was an honourable part of the uphill work done 
for a great industry, and his pluck and determination were 
ill-rewarded by the loss he sustained in the failure of the consign- 
ment on the Mataura, which he chartered to carry his own fat 
stock from Longbeach, as well as a small quantity of meat from 
otluT farmers. Unfortunately, the temperature of the freezing 
chambers was allowed to rise too high, and the meat was all 
condemned when it arrived in London, which failure cost him a 
large sum of money ; as no insurance company would take the 
risk of insuring frozen meat in those days of trial (notwith- 
standing the fact that the meat by the Dunedin was covered 
for 5 5s. ) the whole cargo was uninsured. The freight for this 
boat was 2$d. per lb., besides other charges, and now l$d. will 
pay all charges to London. In many cases it would have been 
better from a point of view of profit if some of the sheep had 
jumped into the sea instead of going on board a ship, as in 
many cases the prices fetched in London did not pay the ex- 
penses of freezing and freight. At first there was no use found 
for lambs' pelts, and they were buried to get them out of the 
way, and several of the by-products (paying well now) were not 
paying then. So unprofitable was the trade of buying and 
.-hipping meat at first that either in 1886 or 1887 Mr. Grigg 
bought thousands of prime fat lambs at from 5s. 3d. to 70. 6d. 
Many farmers in the Ashburton County followed the policy of 
selling their lambs forward for the whole season at la. 6d. per 
head. The brand under which Mr. Grigg shipped was known as 
the "Plumes" on the London market, being three feathers over 
No. 16. This brand made a good name, and was well known 
in the early days of freezing for export, representing as it did 
extra quality and strict, even grading. During the early yean 
of freezing Mr. Grigg used to buy up to 80,000 fat sheep and 

B B 2 


lambs in the Ashburton County and ship them to London every 
season. In growing rape, turnips, and clover with Italian rye- 
grass, to top off lambs after weaning, he was probably one of 
the leaders. In one season from December to the end of May 
18,000 lambs were fattened on Longbeach and averaged well 
over 40 Ibs. each. One line of 4,400 lambs, which were all 
sold on the same day, averaged over 42 Ibs. Mr. Grigg was a 
strong advocate of the principle that the freezing companies 
should not deal in meat. He advocated the open door for the 
farmer and his stock, and the advantage of the consignment 
principle. The Canterbury Frozen Meat Co. right throughout 
its career has felt the good effect of the energy with which 
Mr. Grigg devoted himself to the starting of the Canterbury 

HASLAM, SIR ALFRED SEALE, has played a part as pioneer 
in the introduction of refrigerating machinery best indi- 
cated, perhaps, by reference to the fact, set forth in another 
page in this book, that his " dry air " machine was intro- 
duced in 1880, and that following this the Haslam Foundry 
and Engineering Co., formed by Sir Alfred as early as 
1868, had what amounted practically to a monopoly of British 
marine meat refrigeration for fourteen years during the life 
of the patents concerned. In 1880, when the trade between 
Australasia and Great Britain was opened for the carriage of 
frozen meat, Sir Alfred fitted ships to carry approximately 
150 tons of meat per cargo, and this was considered a great 
achievement. The fact that at the present time he is fitting up 
a number of vessels to carry from 3,000 to 4,000 tons of meat or 
dairy produce gives an idea of the enormous development of 
the trade. Sir Alfred's early training as an engineer was at 
the Midland Railway Works at Derby, and he was at work 
later under Lord Armstrong's company. His first association 
with the manufacture of refrigerating machinery was in 1876, 
and that association, like his connection with Derby, has since 
seen no interruption. He received his knighthood when, as 
Mayor of Derby, he received Queen Victoria on her visit to 
Derby in 1891. Like many other prominent engineers, Sir 

Mi: K1CIIMOM) Kl.l.l.l. 

To fact ft. 372. 


Alfred found time to enter Parliament, representing Newcastle- 
undor-Lyme as a Liberal Unionist from 1900 to 1006. Sir 
Alfred in 1896 presented London with the bronze statue of 
Queen Victoria and the granite base standing near Blackfriars 
Bridge. This statue, unveiled by the late Duke of Cambridge, 
is the only one of her late Majesty in the City of London. 

HENDERSON, WILLIAM, late London manager of the Christ- 
church Meat Co., was born in Aberdeen. He emigrated to 
New Zealand in 1867, and went on to- the Mat aura and Edendale 
Estates (Southland) of the New Zealand and Australian Land 
Co., and later resided in Invercargill. In 1872, he joined the 
Bank of Otago (afterwards taken over by the National Bank of 
New Zealand) at Dunedin, and later entered the firm of Guthrie 
and Larnach, in 1879 going to London as manager for this 
firm. About 1888 Mr. Henderson was invited to assume the 
management of the National Mortgage and Agency Co. of New 
Zealand, Ltd., and in that position he had the supervision of the 
Longburn Freezing Works, which the National Mortgage Co. 
had taken over. Mr. Henderson resigned from the National 
Mortgage Co. in 1904, and went to London as manager for the 
Christchurch Meat Co. in 1905. In September, 1910, a farewell 
banquet and presentation at the Caf Royal, London, were 
given by the trade to Mr. Henderson, who, on resigning his 
connection with the Christchurch Co. and retiring from business 
life, left for New Zealand in October of that year. 

HOTSON, JOHN. Mr. Hotson was born at Langholm, Dum- 
friesshire, in 1851, and received his early business training in 
the National Bank of Scotland, and the London and West- 
minster Bank. Later he joined the firm of Dennistoun, Cross 
and Co., London. Mr. Hotson sailed for Australia in 1879, and 
arrived at Melbourne at the time when pastoralists and mer- 
chants were keenly interested in making the export of frozen 
meat a commercial success. The Australian Frozrn M-ut 
Export Co. was formed soon after Mr. Hotson arrived in Mel- 
bourne, and he became secretary, and later manager and 
secretary. In 1887 the works of the company at Newport 


were acquired by the Victorian Government ; Mr. Hotson 
subsequently leased the establishment, and during his period of 
occupancy about 1,200,000 frozen sheep and lambs were 
exported to London. In 1896 Mr. Hotson passed over his 
business interests at Newport to Mr. John Cooke. During 
the last few years Mr. Hotson has resided in England, at 

JOHNSON, THE LATE E. L., became associated with the frozen 
meat trade as a surveyor in 1885. Mr. Johnson was the 
pioneer of the surveying of frozen meat on defined lines, and 
his force of character and ability, combined with tact, made 
him quite a figure in frozen meat circles. As he had to deal 
with a new business, he had, naturally, to establish his own 
precedents, and only a strong man could do that. Many 
battles over meat and mouldy rabbits did he have with 
claimants. Captain T. R. Mowat, who began surveying 
frozen meat in 1893, joined in 1901 the firm of E. L. Johnson's 
Sons and Mowat, the successors of the connection of the 
subject of this brief memoir. Mr. Johnson was wont to use 
some quaint and expressive phrases at Smithfield in the course 
of his work. " As sound as a bell of brass," he would say when 
frozen meat was submitted to him for damage allowance, 
which he disputed. " Stone fed " was another of his expressions 
in alluding to carcasses the poorness of which, amounting to 
emaciation, admitted of no dispute. Mr. Johnson died in 
December, 1900. 

KEELE, RICHMOND, who has been called the " Grand Old 
Man of the Meat Trade," was for many years the frozen meat 
manager for Nelson Brothers and the Colonial Consignment 
and Distributing Co., Ltd. He was a well-known and highly 
respected figure at Smithfield, where, prior to his retirement, 
he was to be seen every morning. With good general know- 
ledge of live stock, country born and country bred, Mr. Keele 
finished his education by two years at an agricultural college, 
which had numbered the late John Tyndall and Edward 
Frankland among its professors and Henry Fawcett among 


To facr /. :7I 


its students. In 1849, as a lad of eighteen, Mr. Keele arrived 
in Adelaide, South Australia ; in 1851 he joined his brother, 
a Canterbury Pilgrim, in New Zealand, and later visited the 
East, residing for several years in India, Japan, and China. In 
Shanghai the food supply of the foreign settlement was under 
his supervision, and he ran a British dairy, supplying Shanghai 
with milk and butter, and Hong Kong with butter. Mr. Keele 
returned to the Old Country in 1874, and took up dairy farming, 
with a large shed of milch cows and several shops in London. 
About this time Mr. Keele became associated with Sir E. 
Montague Nelson in the farming business. In 1881, when on a 
voyage to the East, Mr. Keele met at Niagara Mr. Robert Camp- 
bell, of New Zealand, and travelled with his party through 
Canada. At Quebec Mr. Campbell then told him he had just con- 
cluded arrangements with Mr. Davidson for providing from his 
stations 10,000 sheep for the Dunedin experimental shipment, 
and New Zealand's pioneer cargo. In 1886 Mr. Keele joined 
Nelson Brothers, Ltd. He retired from the C. C. and D. Co. 
(which had taken over the distributing business of Nelson 
Brothers) in 1903, and on October 20 in that year he was 
entertained at the Caf6 Royal by seventy gentlemen repre- 
senting the import and wholesale departments of the trade, 
who made him a presentation of a massive silver bowl. 

MARTIN, EDWARD, was a distinct force in the pioneering 
days of the frozen meat trade, on the shipowners' side 
of the industry. As managing owner of the Shire Line 
(Turnbull, Martin and Co.), he perceived at an early date the 
importance of the developing trade to the shipowner, and had 
a clear idea in his mind of the type of vessel that the trade 
required, " the refrigerated provision tank," as he termed it. 
Mr. Martin became Chairman of the New Zealand Loan and 
Mercantile Agency Co., Ltd., in May, 1894, when that company 
was reconstructed. The affairs of the company were naturally 
then in a depressed state, and the new chairman's vigorous 
personality helped in no small degree to restore the business to 
a firm footing. Mr. Martin remained chairman until his death, 
which took place suddenly on February 6, 1900 : he was but 


fifty-one years of age when he passed away. Mr. Martin 
married a daughter of the late Sir Edwyn Dawes in 1891. 
Had he lived, there can be no doubt that he would have taken 
a keen interest and played an important part in the settle- 
ment of the many interesting problems accompanying the 
growth of the frozen and chilled meat trade, occupying, as he 
did during the last six years of his life, the dual position of 
shipowner and chairman of a company interested very exten- 
sively in handling refrigerated produce at producing and 
marketing points. Mr. Martin had a wonderfully energetic 
temperament, and was particularly good at attacking and 
overcoming difficulties. 

MC!L WRAITH, McEACHARN AND Co., LTD.; is a firm of 
which the two founders, Mr. Andrew Mcllwraith and the late 
Sir Malcolm McEacharn started business together in the year 
1874, trading as Mcllwraith, McEacharn and Co., the well- 
known mercantile and Anglo -Australian shipping house. The 
firm built a fleet of sailing ships, chiefly for the purposes of 
taking emigrants to the northern parts of Queensland. These 
vessels, after some years, became obsolete, and the company 
then acquired a fine fleet of steamers, which are now prin- 
cipally occupied in the Australian intercoastal trade. In 1879 
the firm created a sensation by chartering the s.s. Strathleven, 
and fitting her with refrigerating machinery for the purpose of 
sending her to Australia to bring home to England a cargo of 
frozen meat, which enterprise, as recorded elsewhere in this 
book, was eminently successful. Mcllwraith, McEacharn and 
Co., Ltd., was formed in 1891, the company being registered 
at Melbourne, Victoria, and there now exist, in addition 
to offices in London and Melbourne, branches at Adelaide, 
Sydney and Newcastle (New S. W.), Fremantle, Perth, and 
Albany (West Aust.). The head office is at Melbourne. 
Messrs. Mcllwraith, McEacharn and Co., Ltd., act as agents in 
Australia for several of the important lines of steamers carrying 
refrigerated produce to Great Britain. 

MARTINDALE, COLONEL C. B., as the general manager of the 
London and St. Katharine Docks Co., had a great deal to do 


To faff p. 376. 


with the early days of frozen meat. He was with the company 
named before the union took place which brought about the 
London and India Docks Joint Committee, and had to erect 
and instal the store at the Victoria Dock, and initiate and 
organize a working system for receiving and storing and deliver- 
ing to consignees who used his cold storing facilities. A very 
considerable part of the work fell to the share of Mr. H. W. 
Williams, the assistant general manager, who was subse- 
quently the manager of the Joint Committee above-mentioned, 
and he threw himself with vigour into this new industry of 
handling perishable goods with the many tough problems that 
it brought with it for solution. A huge " sorting shed " for 
frozen carcasses at the Victoria Docks store was a scheme 
proposed at one time, and Mr. Williams took much interest 
in the proposal. 

NELSON BROTHERS. The personal connection of Messrs. 
Nelson with New Zealand dates back to 1862, when Frederick 
and William Nelson arrived in Auckland. A sheep station was 
purchased in the Hawkes Bay district, where their relatives, 
Bishop Williams and his family, were the earliest settlers, 
and later a noted flock of Lincoln sheep was established. 
Mr. William Nelson returned home in 1875, and as the result 
of experiments carried on at the well-known gelatine works of 
Nelson Dale and Co., at Warwick, machinery was perfected by 
him for a process of meat preservation and the preparation of 
tallow ; hitherto the only method for dealing with the carcass 
in New Zealand had been boiling down. On Mr. Nelson's 
returning to the Colony in 1880 (in conjunction with Mr. J. N. 
Williams as partner), machinery was installed, and the establish- 
ment at Tomoana, Hawkes Bay, was in full working order the 
following year. Conducted on scientific principles, this was far 
in advance of the then existing boiling-down works in Australia, 
which were crude both in their appliances and methods. 
In 1882 the success of refrigeration in the carriage of perish- 
able products had been established, and it was decided to form 
a company that should take over the existing business, and add 
refrigerating machinery to the works at Tomoana. In May, 


1883, the prospectus of Nelson Brothers, Ltd., was issued, and 

mainly owing to the personality and influence of Mr. Edward 

Montague Nelson (who was in charge of the business in London) 

the subscribed capital of 160,000 was immediately raised. 

The refrigerating works started under the management of 

Mr. William Nelson, and the three shipments of frozen meat 

made by the company in 1884 marked the first stage in a 

business which developed to very large proportions. From 

time to time additional amounts of capital were raised and 

spent in developments, and this expenditure was a great 

factor in establishing the freezing trade on a strong and lasting 

basis in New Zealand. Both in the Colony, and, as regards 

distribution at home, Nelson Brothers deservedly occupy the 

position of pioneers of the frozen meat trade. Selling the 

meat in Great Britain was just as important as freezing 

and shipping, and the system had to be initiated. For the 

first two years the cargoes were almost entirely sold at 

Smithfield, but in 1885 the stores in Thames Street, under 

Cannon Street Station, were opened by Nelson Brothers, and 

the opportunity was afforded of sending the meat farther 

afield ; the country business was started, and quickly attained 

big proportions. England was mapped out into districts, an 

army of travellers being employed to push the trade, not only 

in the cities but in the country towns and villages. In addition 

to butchers, other provision retailers were induced to give the 

new commodity a trial, and were supplied in small quantities, 

even to a single carcass, the great end in view being to get the 

meat known throughout the country. To assist in this object 

Nelson Brothers purchased the barque Prince of Wales, fitted 

her with refrigerating machinery, and sent her to Plymouth as a 

distributing station for the West of England. With their 

up-river store supplied by barges from the vessels at the docks, 

and served as to deliveries by railway vans, no difficulty was 

experienced hi getting away the Colonial produce. So much 

progress was made that before long there was hardly a town in 

England without its frozen meat shop. The system was to 

send out price lists on Saturday to the various customers 

offering the different classes of meat, and the orders came 


7l faff i' 


along in the following week. The chairman at a general 
meeting, questioned by a shareholder as to the advisability 
of opening shops, answered that having some 5,000 butchers as 
customers purchasing meat, the directors thought it a preferable 
system to continue supplying them and not come into competi- 
tion with them. In 1893 the fine and extensive premises, 
known as Nelson's Wharf, embracing warehouse, cold stores, 
and distributing station, were opened at Lambeth, with 
frontage on the river Thames. These stores are fitted with 
Haslam and Be la Vergne machines, and there are ten miles of 
refrigerating pipes in the building. The works are said to 
have cost over 150,000. Nelson Brothers' meat when first 
introduced into London was sold at Smithfield by Messrs. 
Black and Stimpson ; Mr. William Stimpson who died in 1900 
looked after the frozen meat department of the business. 
To show the enormous risks of the trade, it may be 
mentioned that in the early nineties Nelson Brothers, Ltd., 
who had established a system of annual contracts with the 
farmers in New Zealand in order to secure regularity in 
supply and freight arrangements, lost no less than 102,000 
on their shipments in one year. The sheep farmers of Hawkes 
Bay met the situation by a reduction on contract price. The 
system was found inapplicable to a trade suffering from such 
great fluctuations in market values, and it was not continued. 
In 1895 Nelson Brothers, Ltd., sold their English distributing 
business to the Colonial Consignment and Distributing Co., 
Ltd., of which Sir Montague Nelson is also chairman and 
managing director, and, with the fresh capital introduced, 
every effort has since been made to develope possible outlets 
for the produce of the Colonies. Nelson Brothers consign all 
the frozen and general produce which they control to the 
Colonial Consignment and Distributing Co., which company 
acts as general agents for Australian and New Zealand clients. 
The Central Queensland Meat Export Co., Ltd. (which company 
acquired in 1901 the undertaking of the Central Queensland 
Meat Export Co., Ltd., of Rockhampton), and the Australian 
Chilling and Freezing Co., Ltd. (works at Aberdeen, New South 
Wales), are domiciled at the Colonial Consignment Co. 'a 


London office. Mr. W. A. Porter is secretary of Nelson 
Brothers, Ltd., and of the Central Queensland Meat Export 
Co., Ltd., and Mr. P. B. Proctor is secretary of the Colonial 
Consignment and Distributing Co., Ltd., and of the Australian 
Chilling and Freezing Co., Ltd. 

NELSON, EDWARD, started in 1879 in the live cattle business, 
and when the frozen meat trade developed he associated himself 
with it, and had considerable experience with the trade up to 
the time of the building of the Las Palmas works in Argentina, 
connected with Messrs. James Nelson and Sons, Ltd. As regards 
that company, Mr. Edward Nelson was joint managing director 
with his brother William Nelson in its early days, and continued 
the joint managing directorship with him after the death of 
Mr. Hugh Nelson in 1893. Mr. William Nelson retired from 
that position in 1904, and some time afterwards Mr. Thomas 
Nelson, another brother, at that time resident in Glasgow, and 
engaged in the live stock trade, joined Mr. Edward as joint 
managing director. Both have since continued to manage the 
affairs of the company. 

NEWMAN, J. N., the London manager of the National 
Mortgage and Agency Co. of New Zealand, Ltd., joined his 
company in 1885, and at once got into close touch with the 
frozen meat trade. The National Mortgage Co. was then 
receiving consignments, and, in fact, was more or less connected 
with the trade from its beginning, owing to its close relation 
with the New Zealand and Australian Land Co. For eighteen 
years, up to the end of 1909, Mr. Newman represented his 
company daily on Smithfield Market, the whole of the consign- 
ments received including the output of the company's works at 
Longburn, New Zealand, passing through his hands, the bulk 
being actually sold by him to dealers and salesmen on the 
market. Mr. Newman was a member of the Committee of the 
Frozen Meat Trade Association, and filled the part of president 
during the years 1901 and 1902. In these years some progress 
was made in settling the terms and conditions of c.i.f. con- 
tracts, and in the better handling of meat at the selling end. 


Mr. Newman is now a member of the council of the Incor- 
porated Society of Meat Importers, and continues to take an 
active interest in everything connected with the trade. 

PASMAN, MILES A., managing director in Buenos Aires of 
the Compaitia Sansinena de Games Congeladas, was first con- 
nected with the firm as sindico, and was appointed managing 
director in 1899. Mr. Pasman occupies a very influential posi- 
tion, and is one of the few men in the Republic to whose 
enterprise and genius the tremendous growth of the Argentine 
frozen meat trade may be attributed. He is president of 
the Estancia y Colonias Curamalan, a huge pastoral property 
now being broken up for settlement, is also president of the 
Bristol Hotel at Mar del Plata, and is chairman of the local 
Board of the Argentine Estates of Bovril. 

PAUL, THE LATE HENRY MoNCREiFF, was born at Glasgow 
in 1834. He went to Melbourne when a young man, and later 
had a sheep station near Wagga Wagga, New South Wales. 
He joined the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Co.'s 
service in 1871, and retired therefrom in 1899 ; he died in 1907. 
The first consignment of frozen mutton received by the company 
was in 1881, and Mr. Paul specially interested himself in intro- 
ducing it to the public, both through the trade and by personally 
bringing it under the notice of his friends and business acquain- 
tances. In the matter of the erection of refrigerated stores in 
London Mr. Paul was largely concerned, as well as in the 
compilation and dissemination in Australia and New Zealand of 
information regarding the selection and preparation of meat 
for despatch to Great Britain. A shipment of frozen meat was 
made to France under Mr. Paul's supervision in 1886, and 
though everything was done to establish the trade there upon 
a satisfactory footing, owing to the heavy duties imposed by 
the French Government business with that country was found 
to be impracticable. In all questions relating to frozen meat 
and other Australasian interests Mr. Paul took a keen interest, 
and under the pseudonym of " Pomingalarna " he wrote 
numerous letters to the Press, as well as frequently taking 


part in discussions at the meetings of the Royal Colonial 
Institute and elsewhere. The New Zealand Loan Co. has 
played a very important part in the development of the 
natural resources of New Zealand and Australia, especially the 
frozen meat business. Mr. Paul was a prominent and 
popular figure in Colonial circles. 

PEARSE, ALBERT WILLIAM, J.P., editor and managing 
director of The Pastoralists' Review, has taken a prominent 
part in suggesting and introducing reforms in connection with 
the systems under which the frozen meat trade in Australia, 
Sydney in particular, has been worked, and has written many 
pamphlets on this and other branches of the business, e.g., 
" The Right and the Wrong Way," " Letting in Daylight," etc. 
Mr. Pearse advocates an improvement in many directions in 
methods of handling meat for export in Australia and New 
Zealand, and urges the removal of the Commonwealth 15 
per cent, duty on meat wrappers, so that Australian shippers 
may be on equal terms with their competitors in New Zealand 
and South America hi this respect. Sydney has an unenviable 
reputation regarding the conveyance of stock by the railways, 
the long distance between sale yards and abattoirs, and general 
handling of freezing stock, as well as regards the carting of the 
meat to the ship's side, and Mr. Pearse has been hammering 
away at these things for many years. He was the first man 
to discuss in public the Argentine systems of running the 
frozen meat trade, and in " Our Great Rival," published in 
1910, he described these methods, and instituted a comparison 
by no means flattering to Australian methods between the 
Argentine and the Australasian ways of working. 

ROSE, JOHN, AND Co. dates back in its provision and tea 
business to 1822, and Mr. John Alexander, a pioneer frozen 
meat retailer, and the chief partner in this firm, saw early 
in the nineties the possibilities of handling the retailing of 
frozen meat hi a new and special way. The daily Press had 
in the early days of the frozen meat industry expressed anxiety 
as to the food supply of the United Kingdom, and although for 


ten years frozen meat and lamb had been imported from New 
Zealand and Australia, the public appeared to know little about 
the new supplies, and seldom had the chance of making a pur- 
chase. One of the first efforts to retail New Zealand mutton and 
lamb placarded as such was that made by John Rose and Co., 
who on Friday, November 25, 1892, made an initial trial with 
six carcasses at one of their branch establishments in London ; 
on the following day, Saturday, eighteen carcasses were 
ordered and sold. On the Friday and Saturday in the three 
following weeks, 36, 67, and 75 carcasses of New Zealand 
mutton were dealt with. This was the beginning of Messrs. 
John Rose's business in the retailing of high-class mutton 
and lamb, a trade to which they have adhered in the great 
business which has been established. The firm have relied 
to a great extent upon household orders. Mr. Alexander 
states that the most difficult part of the business is the " extra- 
ordinary fluctuations in the prices of imported meat." He 
maintains that " New Zealand's best " is still the best of all 
imported lamb and mutton, and it is important, according to 
him, that New Zealand farmers should see to it that they 
continue to hold this position. 

SINCLAIR, RUSSELL, is one whose connection with the 
Australian meat freezing industry, in the capacity of an 
advisory constructional and refrigerating engineer, has been of 
the widest. The firm of J. Wildridge and Sinclair, Ltd., first 
became associated with the meat freezing development in 
Australia in connection with Mr. Robert Hudson, who was 
instrumental in having the Tenterfield and Narrandera 
Chilling Works erected in New South Wales in the early 
nineties. In 1891 Messrs. Wildridge and Sinclair' fit tod out 
the Melbourne Markets with two 50-ton Linde refrigerating 
machines. They also carried out the erection of the large 
Kirribilli Freezing Works (Sydney) in 1891 1892, and the 
extension of the Queensland Meat Export Co.'s Works in 1894. 
An idea of the difficulties connected with the establishment 
of freezing works in the tropics is given in the following notes 
from Mr. Sinclair : " In 1894 and 1895 the Bowen Meat 


Works were formed, and we carried out the design and erection 
of the whole of this plant, fitting machinery to handle 100 
head per day. These works are situated about four or five 
miles from the Bowen Jetty, over on the other side of the 
Burdekin River, and during the erection of the works very 
heavy rains came down, causing a flood, which washed away 
the railway bridge, and I remember well the difficulties we had 
to carry out the erection of the plant, slinging a wire rope 
across from one tree to another on each side, fitting up a 
temporary cradle. All our men and ourselves had to get 
hauled across, at times the cradle dipping perilously near the 
river. A portion of the machinery weighing several tons had 
to be taken across the river in this way." Some years later 
Mr. Sinclair's firm altered the Darling Harbour Meat Markets 
cold storage chambers (Sydney), so as to fit them for export 
purposes. In 1895 1896 they considerably enlarged and 
modernized the Lakes Creek Freezing Works, Rockhampton, 
and in 1896 fitted up the Charleville (Queensland) Meat Works 
for inland chilling. This establishment has never been in 

SPEARING AND WALDRON, of London, chartered the sailer 
Hengist and shipped frozen mutton from San Carlos and Port 
Howard, ports in the Falkland Islands, to London from 
1890 to 1895, shipping 100,000 carcasses in six voyages. 
The Hengist was wrecked in the Straits of Magellan. Messrs. 
Spearing and Waldron were largely interested in frozen 
mutton shipping from Patagonia to London from 1896 to 1899 
(see p. 86). 

with the frozen meat trade in 1881, when he joined the Austra- 
lian Co., Ltd., as secretary ; of this concern he was general 
manager in 1884. The Australian Co. owned the meat export 
works at Poole Island, Bowen, Queensland. It was wound up 
in 1888, but prior to that Mr. Stephenson became managing 
director of the New Zealand and Colonial Consignment Co., 
Ltd., which took over the consignment business of the former 
concern in 1885. In 1886 Messrs. Nelson Brothers, Ltd., 


purchased the goodwill and business of the New Zealand and 
Colonial Consignment Co., Ltd., and Mr. Stephenson went 
over and was appointed country manager. He visited 
Australia twice, and South Africa, and in 1897 took the position 
of secretary to the Colonial Consignment and Distributing Co., 
Ltd., on the retirement of Mr. V. 8. Hervey. Mr. Stephenson 
vigorously tackled all the problems which presented them- 
selves in the early days of the trade, when precedents were 
few. He took a very active part in the promotion of 
the Australian Chilling and Freezing Co., Ltd. (works at 
Aberdeen, New South Wales) in 1890, and his ambition was 
to raise Australian meat to the standard of that from New 
Zealand. His sudden breakdown of health put a premature 
end to a career of unflagging energy and enterprise. He died 
in 1901. 

SWIFT AND Co. is the great meat business which, with 
a gigantic capital of 75 million dollars, is now so closely 
identified with the frozen meat trade in all parts of the world, 
and had its foundations laid some fifty years ago by the late 
Mr. G. F. Swift, who started with the purchase of a heifer 
with 20 dollars given him by his father, a farmer. In the 
interval that separates that day from this the great industry 
known by the man in the street as Swift's has become a huge 
concern, possessing in about 400 cities in four continents 
distributing houses employing over 30,000 hands. As many 
as 11,875 cattle, 16,553 sheep, and 34,562 hogs have 
been transformed into dressed meat in a single day in the 
seven great packing houses "of Swift's. These figures are 
sufficient to show the proportions of the great business, but 
the direction in which it qualifies for mention in these pages 
has chiefly been in the leading part it has played in the great 
North American transatlantic chilled beef export trade, which, 
although now dwindling because of the growing internal meat 
consumption of the United States, has in the past supplied 
Great Britain with the class of refrigerated meat that by its 
unfailing quality and good condition has always commanded 
in English markets top refrigerated prices. This has been 



achieved partly on account of the shorter trip from the United 
States as compared with the voyage from South America and 
the much longer journey from Australia and New Zealand. 
This has permitted chilled transport, in which the surface of 
the meat is not hardened by frost; but much of the trade's 
success has been due to its excellent organization and conduct. 
Mr. G. F. Swift's first meat sale, that of the heifer already 
referred to, was transacted at Barnstaple, Massachusetts, and 
broughthim a profit of 50per cent. Thereunder was a born judge 
of beasts, and an early partnership with James A. Hathaway, 
who was in the dressed beef line at Boston, improved the 
fortunes of both of these men. At Buffalo, where the two 
went, there were other " starters," including Armour and 
Hammond, and soon, with the centre of gravity of the American 
live stock business shifting westward, Swift ended his partner- 
ship with Hathaway and went to Chicago in 1875. This was 
the beginning of the great dressed beef business of Swift's, 
and the foundation of the establishment of the seven big 
packing-house centres of the same company at Chicago, 
Kansas City, Omaha, St. Louis, St. Joseph, St. Paul, and 
Fort Worth, Texas. Mr. Swift was in 1875 solely a cattle 
buyer, the preparation and shipping of dressed beef from 
Chicago then being little more than an embryonic idea. In 
1868 a refrigerator car was invented, and in 1869 the first 
consignment of dressed beef was shipped from Chicago to 
Boston, but it was not a success. Personal supervision 
on the part of Mr. G. F. Swift himself brought about the 
arrangements which made the transport successful, and then 
later came the great struggle with the railways and the eventual 
operation by Swift's of its own private car lines, which have 
been an important feature of the ramifications of the business. 
Following the refrigerator cars came the refrigerated steamships 
that carried the meat across the Atlantic. Ten years after Mr. 
G. F. Swift arrived in Chicago the corporation of Swift and Co. 
was registered with a capital of 300,000 dollars in the State of 
Illinois. In the early days of Swift's business only from 
56 to 58 per cent, of the beef animal was available for food, 
the remainder being sheer waste. The refrigerator car was 

UK MM! I \N|) CO. 

To face p. 386. 


the first means of avoiding the necessity of transporting the 
waste remainder, and the by-products industries which came 
later have employed to the fullest extent that part of the 
animals not transported with the meat. In the case of the 
pig, only the squeal, we are told, remains to be utilized (even 
that was once utilized by Mr. Gilbert Anderson on a gramo- 
phone, just to go one better than the Yankees) . The story of the 
gradual climb of Swift's and other American capitalist concerns 
into the English markets has been the subject of much debate. 
Regarding the first efforts of Mr. G. F. Swift in this direction, 
it is said that he probably crossed the Atlantic twenty times 
before he got his Chicago dressed beef firmly established on 
British soil. When in London he personally supervised the 
selling of his beef. These are the methods which have charac- 
terized the onward march of the Americans right through, and 
relentless energy and untiring organization have been respon- 
sible not only for the strong position which they hold at West 
Smithfield, but also for their success in capturing an important 
share of the Argentine export trade. It may be as well to 
mention here that the Swift Beef Co., Ltd., with offices at 
West Smithfield, is an English company, with a capital 
and board of directors separate from those of the American 
company known as Swift and Co. 

TELLIER, CHARLES, of Auteuil, Paris, who may claim to be 
the pioneer of refrigeration as applied to the preservation and 
transport of meat, is a civil engineer, who has been engaged 
for the last fifty years on the problems connected with the 
chemical production of cold. He was born in 1828. Particulars 
appear in Chapter II. concerning M. Tellier's early efforts to 
import fresh meat from South America under refrigerating 
conditions, and a few particulars may be added here, based on 
a communication received by the authors from M. Tellier. 
In 1860 M. Tellier considered the matter of the public food 
supply ; he perceived that it was for the engineer to bring 
about a balance between the over-production of meat in the 
new countries and the under-consuraption in the Old World. 
His first idea of transport of fresh meat was by means of air- 



tight chambers, but on proceeding to experiment in this direc- 
tion he discovered that the elements of decay were present in 
the meat itself from the earliest stages. Pasteur was teaching 
at that time the doctrine of the " pre-existent presence of 
organic germs " (I' existence preexistant des germes organiques). 
So M. Tellier adopted the refrigerator and was faced with the 
problem of fitting up plant on a steamer at a cost of 120,000 
francs : following on the necessary efforts came the Frigorifique 
enterprise. In considering future discoveries and develop- 
ments in refrigeration, M. Tellier speaks of the possibility of 
producing cold without combustion. Even in the year 1911 
M. Tellier favours his old " desiccation " method of handling 
meat for long transport, " grocers' " meat, as he calls it, " la 
viande d'epiciers." Experience, he states, has taught that 
when meat has been deprived of 15 to 20 per cent, of its weight 
of water the following results occur : In appearance, no change ; 
" preparation " can be effected in twelve hours ; absence of 
hygrometrical conditions ; taken out of the machine after 
twelve hours' treatment, meat can be kept in the open air 
indefinitely. It must be noted that no cold is required for 
this process. To accomplish these results, fresh meat has to 
be dried in the open air by means sufficiently rapid to allow 
the operation to prevent either chemical action or fermenta- 
tion setting in. " Voila ce que reserve I'avenir," concludes 
M. Tellier. In 1910 was published a work entitled "Histoire 
d'une Invention Moderne : le ' Frigorifique,' " written by M. 
Tellier. It is given to few men at the age of 82 to possess the 
intellectual capacity to supplement their life's labours by 
penning a technical work of 450 pages. 

THOMSON, JAMES JOHN, chairman and managing director 
of Eastmans, Ltd., which company has about 1,400 shops in 
the British Isles retailing frozen and chilled meats, began his 
long connection with the frozen meat trade when he joined the 
firm of Messrs. John Bell and Sons in 1878, when they opened at 
Liverpool, and was associated with them till they were formed 
into a limited liability company. Mr. Thomson has presided 
over the destinies of Eastmans, Ltd., since the formation of 

MK. J. .r. llliiMsnN. 

T.> faff f. .188. 


t ho company, and is one of tho leading figures in the imported 
meat trade of Great Britain. Mr. Thomson is well and favour- 
ably known in Smithfield Market and other business circles, 
and is always to be found at gatherings and meetings connected 
with the trade. He is equally at home presiding at an ordinary 
general meeting or sharing in the convivialities of a festive 

Pastoralists' Review from its establishment in 1891 to 1910. 
He went to England in 1896 as the delegate of the Australian 
Meat Export Trade Association, and there was formed by him 
a committee of the London representatives of the Australasian 
meat shipping interests, and considerable work was done by 
this body in endeavouring to establish reforms in the working 
of the trade. Fuller reference to this matter will be found on 
p. 268. A full report of his mission, containing much useful 
information as to London methods in the frozen meat trade, 
was written by Mr. Twopeny on his return to Australia. He 
was instrumental in adding one of the most valuable functions 
to the operations of the Frozen Meat Trade Association, when, 
in conference with the committee of that society, he suggested 
the despatch of a weekly cabled statement of the Smithfield 
current prices to the Australasian Press (see p. 330). Mr. 
Twopeny is an officier d' Academic. 

WAGSTAFF, THE LATE CAPTAIN F., who went as an 
apprentice in a sailing ship to Australia in 1853, will be 
pleasantly remembered in Smithfield circles as surveyor 
to the Australian and New Zealand Underwriters' Associa- 
tion. In the nineties he was on most days to be met 
with in the Central Markets. He issued a useful annual 
list of vessels engaged in the refrigerated produce trade, 
and in 1897 devised a method for the discharge of frozen 
meat direct into barges or trucks through small portholes 
18 inches square in the 'tween decks of vessels, for the 
purpose of saving damage in the hoisting of carcasses up the 


WARD, JOHN J., who was from 1904 to 1910 general 
manager for Europe of the Compania Sansinena de Games 
Congeladas, first sold S. G. Sansinena and Co.'s sheep in 
Birmingham in 1886, and in 1887 joined the company as 
its Liverpool manager. Developing the business, he held 
the position until 1904, when the Buenos Aires board 
invited him to assume the position of general manager for 
Europe, with residence in London, on the resignation of 
Mr. William Cook. Mr. Ward may well be called one of the 
trade's pioneers, for it was he who introduced New Zealand 
frozen sheep into Yorkshire in 1884 and sold them on Leeds 
Bridge. Prior to that date he sold frozen meat on the Birming- 
ham wholesale market, and introduced it into Staffordshire at 
Hanley. In 1891 Mr. Ward visited Chicago, and in 1895 he 
went to the Argentine and dressed the cattle at La Negra 
works to show the Argentine what was wanted in England. 
In the year 1896 he met with a very serious accident in the 
course of his duties. During discharge of the s.s. Elstree 
Grange, he was struck by the steamer's coaling bucket and 
knocked down the hold, sustaining such grave injuries that his 
life was despaired of. He, however, recovered completely and 
resumed his duties after a long illness. After a life of strenuous 
work, Mr. Ward retired at the end of 1910, being honoured with 
a complimentary banquet and presentation by the meat trade 
of the United Kingdom, with its banking, shipowning, 
and marine insurance connections, at the Cafe Royal, on 
November 29 of that year. 

WEDDEL, WILLIAM, director of W. Weddel and Co., Ltd., 
has been one of the most prominent figures in the frozen meat 
trade, and there are few persons connected with this industry 
who have grappled more vigorously and successfully with all 
the difficulties which have marked its growth from 1880 onwards. 
Educated at the Edinburgh Institution, Mr. William Weddel 
came to London in October, 1872, and in 1874 entered the 
service of Messrs. Russell, Le Cren and Co., of London, agents 
for Messrs. Russell, Ritchie and Co., of New Zealand. With 
his brother the late Mr. P. G. Weddel, Mr. William Weddel 

Mi:. \\IIM\M \\I-.I.I-M. 


established in 1887 the firm which bears his name, being joined 
by Mr. George Goodsir in 1888, the partnership extending to 
this day. Later, in 1004, Mr. D. J. Goodsir and Mr. Gordon 
H. Campbell became partners, and in December, 1910, the 
firm was registered as W. Weddel and Co., Ltd., under the 
Companies Acts. Concerning the operations of Messrs. W. 
Weddel and Co., it is, perhaps, only necessary to say here 
that the firm is one of the largest importers from Australia 
and New Zealand. It is about twenty years since Mr. 
Weddel's house initiated c.i.f. business, on which basis, 
of course, a very large proportion of the frozen meat trade 
from Australasia is now carried on, to the advantage of both 
buyers and sellers. The firm in 1895 opened up a trade in 
frozen meat with Austria and Germany. These operations, 
though quickly brought to a close at that time, clearly marked 
the first stage of that great fight for new markets on the 
Continent in which the frozen meat industry is now engaged. 
Fair quantities of meat were sold during the campaign, but 
the inspection and other regulations enforced by the authorities, 
as well as the high import duties imposed, put a stop to the 
business. In co-operation with the board in South Africa, 
and Mr. John Cooke, of Melbourne (a large shareholder), 
Messrs. W. Weddel and Co. organized and worked for some 
years the La Plata Cold Storage Works in Argentina, 
an undertaking still boasting the most up-to-date equip- 
ment in that part of the world, but now owned by Swift's. 
Originally the principal shareholders in the La Plata Works 
were South African meat importers, but when the importation 
of frozen meat into that colony fell off to small proportions 
these parties had not much interest in retaining the works, and 
so decided to sell their property, which they did at a fair profit. 
Mr. Weddel's firm imports considerable quantities of meat 
from Uruguay and Patagonia. Mr. Weddel visited South 
Africa several times during the war, and he did business so 
satisfactorily for the War Office in Australasian produce that 
a very considerable portion of the orders for these commodities 
was placed with his firm, so far as imports from Australasia 
were concerned. His firm also secured nearly all the orders 

for shipments from Australia to China at the time of the Boxer 
trouble, and they also sent to Taku some frozen meat for the 
United States Government. Mr. Weddel and his partners have 
been prominent figures in connection with the settling of 
the problems arising as the frozen meat trade grew, and 
many of the commercial methods applied to the industry as 
it now exists are on the lines of procedure established hi the 
early days by him and his partners. Mr. Weddel is a 
member of the Port of London Authority, and has always been 
a staunch supporter of the Royal Colonial Institute and other 
Australian and New Zealand social enterprises in Great 

WOOD, JOHN A., joined the service of the River Plate Fresh 
Meat Co., Ltd., in 1882, on the formation of the company, as 
secretary, being the first official appointed in the service. He 
was made manager and secretary in 1888, general manager and 
secretary in 1895, managing director in 1903, and the chairman 
in 1904. Mr. Wood had to initiate, supervise, and control 
the various developments of the company's business, and the 
successful carrying out of the work has, of course, only been 
possible owing to the assistance of a most capable staff both in 
the Plate and in Great Britain. Mr. Wood has paid many 
visits to the Argentine in connection with the business of the 
company. It is fitting that Mr. Wood's name should be 
coupled with the system on which the River Plate Fresh Meat 
Co. has been managed. This system has been as far as possible 
for the company to control and work with their own men the 
whole business from the buying of the live stock in the Plate 
until delivery to the retailers or consumers on this side, the 
aim all through having been to meet as far as was possible the 
consumers' requirements, and the control of the company being 
in the hands of those who were acquainted with what was 
required on this side enabled that end to be fairly well attained. 



DRAWING an outline of the future is always a speculative pro- 
ceeding, but there are few industries that have shown the same 
potentiality of development as the frozen meat trade. The rule 
hitherto, with few exceptions, has been that nations as they 
rise in status become greater meat eaters. Such countries, as 
they in the course of time progress in the industrial arts, stand 
continually less chance of furnishing their meat supply from 
within their own territory. 

The frozen meat man might truthfully say " The world's 
mine oyster." That the oyster is sometimes hard to open is 
seen in the struggle to gain Europe for frozen meat, but the 
possibilities are none the less for that. Great Britain herself 
has been an ever-expanding market, as the following round 
totals of imports of mutton and lamb carcasses bear witness : 
1885 (United Kingdom), 1,000,000; 1890, 3,000,000; 1895, 
5,000,000 ; 1900, 7,000,000 ; 1910, 13,000,000. The market 
in Great Britain has shown a wonderful power of expan- 
sion, and the country's need to import further meat will 
become still more keen as the industrial scope waxes. 

The democratic movement in Germany will of a certainty 
find expression by-and-by in the relaxation of the official 
attitude of refusal to import the meat which the workers there 
so sorely need. That the manufacturing peoples of Europe 
cannot produce within their own borders the flesh food which 
they require is an economic truism, and sooner or later the 
refrigerated meats from the two great continents in the South 
must find eager customers in these states. The United States of 
America, which have played such a preponderating part in the 
past in supplying Europe with food of all kinds, are finding the 


needs of their own population so insistent that it is plain that 
Argentina and/or Australia, instead of finding a competitor 
in that quarter, will ere long find a customer. 

Refrigerated Meat the Import Trade of the Future. 

We may, perhaps, reasonably dismiss, as a negligible factor, 
one important avenue of competition in the past with frozen 
meat, the live cattle trade. The transit of live stock for 
slaughter has become obsolete with the erection and virtual 
perfection of the vast system of plant belonging to the frozen 
and chilled meat trade. The distance between the pro- 
ducing and consuming points of frozen and chilled meats, with 
the cheapening of freights, is no stumbling block to the industry, 
and no disadvantage to the consumer. The struggle for 
existence as the population of the world increases will of 
necessity be so keen that a stimulating meat diet will be 
essential ; a world- wide demand is certain. Whence are 
supplies to come ? Not from the consumers' countries ; there 
will hardly be elbow-room by-and-by for men and women in 
these hives of industry, let alone pastures spacious enough to 
feed cattle and sheep. The 251 vessels that now ply across 
the ocean from the South freighted with meat supplies will, 
when that period comes, have doubled trebled who can say ? 
Vessels with chilled and frozen South American beef now 
arrive at English ports as regular as clockwork, and imports 
of New Zealand lambs and Australian mutton and beef 
will be so arranged and systematized that the periods of 
" famine and feast," and various shortcomings and irregu- 
larities in transport, which have weakened the frozen meat 
trade during its thirty years, will be swept away. 

Underwriting will play a less prominent part, and insurance 
may become a question of cover against total loss, as greater 
skill and care are exercised in all departments. In The 
Pastoralisis > Review, the question was recently asked " Why 
should there be any damage in the transit and handling of 
frozen meat ? " This sounds academic, but it is a healthy 
ideal to work up to. At any rate, vast improvement is certain 


to take place in this respect, as the progress made in the past 
I'M years indicates, and we may confidently look forward to 
tho time when the condition of all Australasian and South 
American meats on being marketed will be as sound as their 
intrinsic quality. 

British capita], already heavily invested in the industry, will 
In- likely to be embarked still further in Australia, New Zealand, 
and the meat shipping countries of South America. Not only 
will it be sunk in plant, but there will be floating capital or 
credit on a large scale made available by British merchants 
at the point of meat production, for the purchase on the spot 
of produce for refrigerated shipment to Europe. As the 
system of retail trade combination spreads in the great centres 
of population in England, in the form of multiple provision- 
shop companies, the necessity for buyers to cover their 
requirements ahead will become more pressing. All along the 
line we may expect the wholesale purchasing and importing 
of frozen meat to be conducted on more systematized lines, as 
the demand grows larger and the competition keener. Depen- 
dence in a casual way upon farmers' consignments will not 
do for this. The proprietors of these companies, knowing 
precisely their requirements, will, by agent or cable, arrange 
their contracts in a precise manner for quality, grade, and 
time of shipment. 

New Zealand Lamb. 

New Zealand may be expected to show a gradual increase 
in her meat export trade, unless her flourishing dairying 
industry should present obstacles to the further development 
of meat freezing. It is not expected that the increase will 
bo in beef. One may fairly anticipate that New Zealand will 
in the future maintain and improve the supreme position she 
holds in tho export of lambs. The capacity for expansion of 
the frozen meat business in the aggregate in the Dominion is 
limited, but it is difficult to place a limit upon the production 
of the fine meaty lamb exported. From 1887, when the ship- 
ment of New Zealand lambs exceeded a million, the yearly 

despatches have steadily expanded to 1911, when about 
3,500,000 were landed at English ports. The excellent quality 
of the New Zealand frozen lamb, so widely acknowledged that 
it freely enters houses where other descriptions of frozen meat 
are tabooed, has been well maintained, although the numbers 
have increased so rapidly. There is nothing in the figures of 
mutton exports from New Zealand of late years to encourage 
the idea that any considerable expansion will take place in 
that direction ; and there is much in the fact that the New 
Zealand standard of quality in mutton has fallen and is falling, 
and that Argentine is taking its place, to confirm the suggestion 
that the New Zealand freezing works will in the future cater 
for an increased output of lamb rather than mutton. 

Australia's Possibilities. 

Australia will, probably, in periods of abundant rains, hold 
a lead in mutton ; it may be that in the future it will be 
a long lead. But it would be difficult to speak with 
much confidence when forecasting Australia's future in the 
frozen meat industry, on account of climatic fluctuations and 
the influence of wool values. Taking Australia as a whole, 
when one considers that the yearly income from wool was 
estimated in 1910 at 30,000,000, it is easy to see that frozen 
mutton is a secondary product to the sheep farmer. It is 
quite possible that the meat shipping States of the Common- 
wealth may play a very leading part in years to come. With 
her small population, and huge unopened grazing territories 
only waiting for railways to make them operative, the possi- 
bilities of Australia, given good seasons, in the way of supply- 
ing meats to the Old World, and, helped by her geographical 
position, to the East, can only be guessed at. The Gulf 
country of Queensland, north-western Western Australia, 
and parts of the Northern Territory coastal country, when 
exploited by capital and furnished with means of freezing and 
shipping beef, should add in no small way to the Common- 
wealth's power of supplementing the roast beef of Old England. 
And what limit can be placed on Australia's possibilities in 


the way of exports of refrigerated produce to Eastern countries, 
when we hear of Tasmanian apples going to China ! The 
imports of Australian mutton and lamb into Great Britain in 
1910 over 4,000,000 carcasses which showed an increase 
over the figures of the previous year of 58 per cent., give an 
idea of the possibilities of extension in mutton and lamb 
freezing in the Commonwealth States, especially in view of the 
-\|i .m-ionof the farming element, now being brought about by 
the division of the big pastoral properties, under which system 
the Australian flocks will be increased, if the seasons are 
propitious. The prospect for sheep breeders in Australia is 
full of promise. The demand for Australian mutton and lamb 
is certain to increase as time goes on, not only because of 
the growth in the population of the United Kingdom, but also 
because the tendency is for flocks to decrease on the Continent 
of Europe and in the United States. 

South America's Prospects. 

Since the invasion of Argentina by the United States meat 
packing firms and the taking over of two of the finest factories 
by the Americans, the department of most interest has been 
that of chilled beef, which inclines one to expect much of that 
article in regard to Argentina's future part in the meat export 
industry. Swift's descent upon La Plata and the subsequent 
capture of La Blanca was a fine coup, and it is seen that these 
developments have brought about a change in venue of the 
chilled beef business, for which the Swifts, the Morrises, and the 
others made the meat centres of the United States of America 
so deservedly famous. But, of course, chilled beef was a profit- 
able trade in the Argentine before the two works named went 
over to the Americans. As exporters of chilled beef the United 
States of America are now a negligible factor, and one associates 
this industry specially with Argentina because in that Republic 
it is so rapidly waxing. Chilled beef is such a high-class trade 
that the future of the meat export of any country which can 
grapple successfully with the various problems concerned therein 
is certain to be brilliant. 


Though, on the average, the financial results to the Argentine 
shippers of chilled beef in 1911 were probably unsatisfactory- 
owing to English markets being swamped with excessive 
quantities there can be no doubt that the part which Argen- 
tina will play in the future in the meat export trade will involve 
increased attention to the shipment of this article. Notwith- 
standing the steady improvement in the quality of Argentine 
frozen mutton, one's attention in this chapter is drawn to the 
great preponderance in beef shipments, which in 1910, referring 
to imports into Great Britain from South America, totalled 
over 250,000 tons, frozen and chilled, 40 per cent, of the total 
import of frozen and chilled beef and mutton imported in that 
year. The decline of sheep stocks in Argentina of late years 
cannot escape attention. In 1895 there were 74,380,000 in 
the Republic, and this number had sunk to 67,212,000 in 1908. 
At the present day, says the Review of the River Plate, it is 
doubtful if there are 60,000,000 sheep in Argentina, as a large 
number perished in the drought of the last two years. 

In treating such a subject as the future of the industry, one 
cannot neglect allusion to the possibilities of further expansion 
in the Americas. The two existing works in Chilian Patagonia 
are a useful means of handling the surplus of fat mutton and 
lamb in the bleak regions round Punta Arenas. Not much 
development of this trade is expected. Sheep are not available 
in sufficient numbers in Argentine Patagonia from Bahia 
Blanca southwards to tempt the exploitation of this part of 
South America for the freezing industry and the general 
circumstances and lack of settlement in the country are dis- 
couraging. The freezing works at Rio Gallegos are on the 
point of commencing operations. Much is being said about 
additional freezing establishments to be erected in Uruguay, 
but so far the Frigorifica Uruguaya alone represents the 
industry in La Banda Oriental. The proprietors of the 
freezing works in Venezuela, in tackling the industry in the 
tropics, probably had in view the supplying of a special demand 
in England for a certain grade of beef. The cattle available 
for their purposes are small. It is not the idea of the most 
experienced men in the frozen meat trade that much is to be 


done in planting freezing works for export in such countries a* 
Mexico, Paraguay, Brazil, etc. When the cattle of these 
countries have been improved, we may see Great Britain and 
other parts of Europe drawing supplies of beef thence. Still, 
there is little doubt that one of the developments of the future, 
possibly, when Argentina's fat cattle run short, will bo the 
tapping of the more northern parts of South America, and 
Mexico in North America, for beef supplies for Europe. Again, 
South Africa has sent some little lots of frozen meat to English 
markets, and although the results were discouraging, there need 
be no doubt that frozen meat supplies will some day be 
available from the Union of South Africa. Pedigree stock are 
being imported there, and the ranching business is opening 
up well in Rhodesia. 

Looking Forward. 

As bearing upon this subject, there may be given the last 
paragraph in the paper, " The Meat Supply of the United 
Kingdom," read on May 18, 1909, before the Royal Statistical 
Society, by Mr. R. H. Hooker, M.A. " In the future our 
dependence on North America will steadily diminish, and I 
look to the Southern Hemisphere for our extraneous meat 
supply ; mainly to South America for our beef and to Austral- 
asia for our mutton, the latter probably exhibiting great 
fluctuations." Mr. John Clay, of Chicago, an undoubted 
authority, recently stated that he did not believe that the 
United States would be able to send much more beef to the 
United Kingdom. " But when the South American supply has 
ceased to grow, there seems every probability that population 
will increase faster than live stock, and the next generation 
will have to pay dear for its meat unless some radical change 
is made either in the method of producing meat or in the diet 
of the United Kingdom." 

A Comparison. 

In an Appendix to this book will be found some tabular 
statistics of the freezing works of Australia, New Zealand, and 
South America. The Australasian system, with its num< 


works scattered all over the place, compares unfavourably with 
the centralization which marks the Argentine freezing industry, 
as in the former there must be great waste in the various 
processes, both in the erection and management of works, and 
in shipment, etc. Looking at the total capacity of the Austral- 
asian freezing works and of those in Argentina, in relation to 
the total shipments for a given period from the two sources, 
we see how, relatively, much more economical is the Argentine 
than the Australasian plan ; and as the meat from both has to be 
sold in the same market, it is easy to perceive that the producer 
in Australasia must necessarily get a lower net return than 
must be secured by his rival in Argentina. But it is difficult 
to see how things could have been different in Australia 
and New Zealand where the farmers have shown an inclina- 
tion to take a hand in the work of distribution. The frozen 
meat trade was established, and has since been carried 
on, commercially in the Argentine Republic. A handful 
of business people, English, Scotch, Argentines, experienced 
in trade and industry, worked out the whole freezing 
cycle without being hampered by a multitude of coun- 
sellors swayed by conflicting interests. Buenos Aires was a 
ready-made centre for the business in all its branches, helped 
by a fine railway and ocean shipping system, and no other 
choice was possible. And the South American freezing 
industry, as to the modern part of it, has had the shoals upon 
which it might have grounded well buoyed by the mistakes 
made by some of the pioneers in Australasia, both in preparing 
the meat at one end and disposing of it at the other. 

The producer in Argentina, that is, the grower, has no 
direct concern in the frozen meat trade. He sells his fat 
stock to the frigorificos, and there is an end of it. But in 
Australia and New Zealand the grower, whether he consigns or 
sells on the spot, takes a keen and personal interest in all 
the stages through which the meat passes. He follows 
the frozen carcass from meat works to market and has 
tried to master the technique of the trade. The close 
season for the operations of the Australian and New Zea- 
land freezing works has no parallel in Argentina, where 


the frigorificos do not stop except for overhauling and 
repairs. Argentina has had a taste of drought of late yean, 
l>ut, speaking broadly, the climate there and the up-to-date 
methods of farming enable stock to be offered fat at the 
markets practically all the year round. The freezing industry 
has been helped by the co-operation of the wealthy estancieroa 
in breeding up suitable stock, men who are content to sell 
and who do not embarrass the companies by any interference. 
The fact that the whole of the operations, from slaughter of 
stock to selling meat in Great Britain, have been mainly in 
the hands of the Argentine companies has been greatly in 
their favour, and this control has made and still makes it a 
comparatively easy task for them to contend successfully with 
tln-ir Australasian competitors. 

But there was no possibility of the New Zealand freezing 
works and their collateral processes developing as did the Argen- 
tine, because the business was taken up in various districts of 
the Colony, and farmers, not commercial men, were at the 
head of affairs. From the Bluff to Auckland is a far cry, and 
to apply the principle of concentration in a drastic fashion to 
so delicate an industry as frozen meat in a country where the 
sources of raw material supply range over about 800 miles 
would have been impossible. Quot homines tot sentenlice. And 
in Australia, handicapped with droughts in the pastoral dis- 
tricts, freezing is at any time liable to be interfered with for 
years, as it was during the period 1899 1905, following the 
record drought. 

Whilst recognizing the fact that the conditions under which 
the frozen meat industry in Australia and New Zealand, and 
in Argentina, had its origin were and are different, it may not 
be out of place to call attention to the consideration that, if 
the meat shippers of Australia and New Zealand desire to com- 
pete in a really effective manner with their South American 
rivals in the struggle for the markets of Great Britain, and later 
on for those of the Continent of Europe, attention should 
be devoted to the consolidation of efforts in the leading centres 
of Australia and New Zealand. The meat export trade in 
Australasia appears to require broader commercial lines of 

F.II. D D 


management than it possesses at present, so that the whole 
business may be worked in the most economical and scientific 

And, whilst combination and concentration are desirable and 
indeed necessary, continuity of supply is equally vital. Cannot 
the farmers of Australia and New Zealand modify their present 
system of breeding and feeding so that a continuous instead of 
the present seasonal supply of fat stock for freezing can be 
secured ? This has been brought about in the Argentine 
Republic by an intelligent system of breeding and feeding, 
and it is clear that, before the Australasian shippers of meat 
under refrigerated conditions can put their business in a 
thoroughly fit shape to compete with South America for the 
markets of Great Britain, the farmers of New Zealand and 
Australia must concentrate their energy upon this problem. 



AN important collateral subject is that of the supplies of 
live cattle and sheep brought into Great Britain to supplement 
home-grown beef and mutton. One has to go back to pre- 
statistical days for the beginnings of this business. Cattle 
plagues occurred in 809 10, 1348 49, and 1480, but there is 
lack of evidence to show that these attacks were rinderpest. 
In 1715 there was a limited outbreak, and again in 1745 a more 
extensive one, of the veritable plague, which continued to 1757. 
This was brought into the country either by two white calves 
from Holland, or in a parcel of distempered hides. Even so 
early as 1348, when the attack of cattle disease alluded to 
occurred, the stamping-out system was understood in England. 
The diseased cattle were slaughtered, and infected herds and 
the herdsmen attending them were kept from coming into 
contact with sound animals. In 1770 an ordinance was issued 
prohibiting imports of cattle and sheep, and also of hides, 
horns, etc. Great Britain long continued to be free from all 
kinds of contagious cattle disease ; rinderpest, pleuro-pneu- 
monia, and foot-and-mouth disease were unknown, though 
every country in Europe had been constantly ravaged by these 
scourges. In the Napoleonic wars rinderpest followed the 
track of the various armies, especially those coming from 
Russia, or those having been in contact with Russian troops ; 
France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal all suffered, while Germany, 
Austria, and all South-Eastern Europe were never free. The 
only immune countries were the British Isles. And this happy 
state of things continued until the change took place in the 
national system of Great Britain in the early forties, and import 

D D 2 


regulations were relaxed. From that time onwards cattle 
diseases prevailed for pretty well fifty years, during which 
period the United Kingdom was never free from disease ; pleuro, 
foot-and-mouth disease, etc., and in 1865 rinderpest, ravaged 
the herds and caused irreparable losses. This awful attack of 
rinderpest was introduced by 331 cattle from Revel, landed at 
Hull. The total number of cattle attacked in Great Britain 
was 73.549. The disease spread till an Order in Council made 
it compulsory to slaughter and bury all diseased animals. A 
slight attack in 1872 and a still more local one in 1877 or 1878 
were quickly suppressed, and with that Great Britain said 
good-bye to rinderpest. The beneficent Order of 1892 
prohibited the importation of cattle, sheep, and goats from 
nearly all the Continental countries, Malta, and Morocco, but 
cattle were permitted to be landed for slaughter from the 
United States and Canada. Sheep were allowed to be landed 
from these two countries without being subject to slaughter. 
This Order was made under the Contagious Diseases (Animals) 
Acts of 1878 to 1892. In 1896 another Act was passed 
consolidating these Acts and making it compulsory that all 
cattle and sheep imported be slaughtered within ten days of 
being landed. This Cattle Diseases Act of 1896 has enabled 
Great Britain to keep free from the serious forms of stock 
disease ; a few attacks of foot-and-mouth disease have been 
promptly suppressed, and England and Scotland have become 
the nursery of pure-bred cattle, sheep, and pigs ; and breeders 
have been enabled to supply the world, under the protection 
of the Act. These foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks caused 
much loss to farmers. Some of the visitations were very 
serious, and ruined many herds of dairy cattle by injuring 
their udders : 20 fat cattle ran down to 15 in value. The 
mortality was small, but the loss of income was large. 

Prior to Strathleven days (1880), and for twenty-five years 
after, Great Britain was greatly dependent upon live animals 
imported from Continental countries and North America for 
immediate slaughter at port of landing to supplement the 
insufficient home supply of fresh meat. Holland, Denmark, 
and Germany, before dead meat came along, and, in fact, 


right up to 1892 (when the Order above referred to entirely 
prohibited imports of cattle and sheep from Continental States), 
were the principal countries drawn upon. From that period 
Great Britain has imported her supplies of fat cattle and 
sheep from the United 'States of America, Canada, and Argen- 
tina (for the circumstances connected with the stoppage of 
the Argentine live stock trade see p. 75) ; and the present 
generation of Englishmen have forgotten to what degree 
their country was indebted to Continental supplies of cattle 
and sheep up to twenty and thirty years ago. The dead meat 
mutton and beef now received from the Continent is but a 
dim shadow of the trade formerly existing. 

The landing in the United Kingdom of live animals from 
abroad for food supplies is governed at the present time by the 
Foreign Animals Order of 1910. The landing of live animals 
from certain countries including swine from the United States 
of America is entirely prohibited, and animals brought from 
other countries can be landed only at specified foreign animals 
wharves for the purpose of slaughter at the wharf within ten 
days. There are at present six of such wharves, one at each 
of the following ports : Liverpool (Birkenhead), London 
(Foreign Cattle Market, Deptford), Glasgow (Merklands), 
Bristol (Avonmouth Dock), Cardiff (Bute Docks), and 
Manchester (Old Trafford). In practice, live animals are 
imported into this country at the present time only from the 
United States of America and Canada. 

Under the Order of 1910 the following is the schedule of 
" prohibited countries " : 

Argentine Republic, Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Bolivia, 
Brazil, Cape Colony, Chili, Columbia, Denmark, Ecuador, 
France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, British Guiana, Dutch 
Guiana, French Guiana, Italy, Malta, and Mexico. 

The Channel Islands and Iceland export a limited number of 
cattle and sheep, respectively, to Great Britain. Australia 
and New Zealand are not scheduled, i.e., prohibited, but there 
is no likelihood of stock from those countries being imported 
into Great Britain. 

When frozen meat first came to London, in 1880, this was 



the position regarding imports of live cattle and sheep in that 
year : 

Source of Supply. 



United States of America 



Denmark . 






Holland . 



South Holstein 



Germany . 


Spain . 



Portugal . 






Channel Islands 








Other Countries 



Totals .... 



The " rise and fall " will be observed in the following 
figures of importations into Great Britain. As the Continental 
trade was stopped in the early nineties, only the imports from 
North and South America are given in detail : 







United States of America 
Canada .... 
Other Countries 








Totals . 








< V.t.r 




United States of America 
Canada .... 

Other Countries 







Totals . 










>! ;<. 

United States of America 
Canada .... 
Other Countries 







Totals . 







United States of America . 


The high-water marks of imports were as follow : 



Total imports of live stock for 

food into Great Britain . 

(1890) 642,747 



Imports from United States of 






Imports from Canada . 



Jl 1,310 












Australasia's Abortive Experiment. 

In 1894 shipments of live cattle and sheep to London were 
made from Australia and New Zealand, the promoters of 
which enterprise had great hopes that they would be able to 
secure a higher range of values than those prevailing for frozen 
meat. Messrs. Bergl and Brabbin entered largely into this 
trade and invested a considerable amount of capital in it. 
As far back as 1872 two live bullocks were imported from 
Adelaide, but the commercial movement began with the 
despatch of 20 head of cattle, of which five were in store con- 
dition, by the Maori King from Sydney : this experiment was 
made on account of the owners, and the vessel sailed round the 
Horn. After being sixty-seven days on board, the cattle were 
landed at Deptford on September 12, 1894, in fair condition, 
one having died on the voyage. Though this pioneering 
venture showed that live stock could be taken from Australia 
to England, the financial result was a heavy loss ; the bullocks 
cost, landed, about 19, including insurance, and the sales 
averaged out at 13 14s. 6d., gross. The shippers wished to 
finish the store animals on the English pastures, but the 
Agricultural Department refused to allow this privilege 
possessed by the American store stock shippers to the 
Australian cattle. The next shipment from Australia was that 
made on the Port Pirie, 18 cattle and 48 sheep : the vessel's 
course was through the Red Sea, and during the voyage 
one ox and six sheep died. The cattle were Shorthorns and 
Devons, and arrived in excellent order, making 21 10s. per 
head, and the sheep made 1 4s. 9d. each. The shipments of 
stock continued to November, 1895. Amongst the most 
successful was that of 250 sheep per Banff shire from Dunedin ; 
only one animal died on the way. The sheep were landed 
fresh and healthy, ready for slaughter, and they were sold at 
from 1 18s. to 2 3s. ; the average per head was 1 19s. 5d., 
and the sheep cost 1 17s. Id. with all charges added, the freight 
being 10s. The freight charged on cattle shipped was 6 
per head. 

As the shipments continued to be made in 1895, there were 

Al'l'F.MHX I 


terrible losses, so that it became clear that the underwriters 
would soon stop the trade ; sentiments of humanity had 
weight in the same direction. The shipment of 1,208 sheep 
per the Buteshire, made by the Shipping Conference, resulted 
successfully ; the sheep made 4 la. 6d. on average. The horses 
imported sold from 20 to 60 guineas for hacks, and the draughts 
made from 27 J to 45 guineas ; 42 horses ex Oulf of Lions fetched 
1,100 guineas. Towards the end of the campaign the cattle 
deteriorated. The large-framed old animals shipped were 
quite unsuited to compete with the nuggety American beasts 
handled in English markets. Also no improvement took place 
in the arrangements made for housing and feeding the cattle 
on board. The Angers shipment of 381 cattle from Gladstone, 
Queensland, clapped an extinguisher on the trade. The vessel 
left the port on November 22, 1895, and arrived at Deptford 
on February 9, 1896, with 32 animals, some of which were in a 
maimed condition. The Royal Society for the Prevention of 
Cruelty to Animals took the matter up, and the Board of 
Agriculture inspected the ship and issued an order prohibiting 
the Angers from carrying live stock from or to any port in 
Great Britain for a twelvemonth. 

It is evident that the whole enterprise was badly planned ; 
to have been successful, cattle should have been conveyed in 
specially built and fitted boats, with skilled men in charge, as 
in the Atlantic system. Lawsuits marked the closing scenes 
of this " episode," which for a short time threatened the frozen 
meat trade. The imports covered a period from September, 
1894, to February, 1896, and the following table is useful as a 
record : 

Carrying VeMtL 




Maori King 

20, lost 1 

Port Pirie 

18, 1 

48, lost 6 

Port Stephens 

20, 4 

Echuca. . 

40, 6 

Maori King 

so, a 

Culgoa . 
Oulf of Bothnia 

120, 45 



Carrying Vessel. 





26, lost 


120, lost 


Celtic King 


Port Chalmers . 









Gulf of Lions . 



Port Victor 





Wooloomooloo . 



Hawke's Bay . 



Gulf of Genoa. 






Gulf of Siam . 




18, lost 11 

Warrigal . 





Echuca . 








Southern Cross 





29, 1 

Urmston Grange 



Buteshire . 



Gulf of Lions . 

102, 45 




Maori King 






Hubbuck . 



Gulf of Bothnia . 



Port Chalmers . 












"Warrigal . 



Cattle shipped 2,654, losses 607 ; sheep shipped 3,882, 
losses 377 ; and horses shipped 152, losses 57. 



EARLY in the history of the frozen meat trade it occurred to 
practical men that there might be a market in Great Britain 
for clean offal. In a letter written on March 14, 1884, by the 
late Mr. Henry Moncreiff Paul, manager in London for the New 
Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Co., to the New Zealand 
offices of the company, information was given as to the methods 
of preparing " lamb kidneys," " sheep tongues," " throat and 
heart sweetbreads," and " running gut," for export in a frozen 
state to England. This was the first suggestion of working up 
the slaughter-house by-products in the frozen trade. Little 
material as to this department of the industry is available, no 
statistics being published ; it is not considered a high-class 
business, and there has been trouble at times with the inspectors 
when these " oddments " have not arrived in good condition. 
Some of the exporters in Australia, New Zealand, and South 
America make a feature of preparing and shipping slaughter- 
house by-products, and prior to the regulations put in force 
in 1909 in Great Britain the imports of these articles rose to 
a considerable volume. 

But the industry in the countries named is trifling compared 
with the by-products trade in the United States of America, 
especially pork products. Imports thence of meat sundries 
into England, chilled and frozen, were formerly enormous. 
The condition of the offal from the United States of America on 
arrival in Great Britain at times left much to be desired, and 
occasionally kidneys, etc., from Australasia and Argentina 
went bad, so the sanitary authorities were not in love with 
the trade. Some of the New Zealand freezing works ship to 
England joints of mutton in bags, a special trade of limited 
dimensions, useful, possibly, where it is not convenient for 


the whole carcass to be exported ; also useful sometimes for 
the English butcher, who, at certain seasons of the year, likes 
to supplement carcasses with extra joints. Meat offals most 
commonly shipped from Australasia and South America to 
Great Britain are ox and sheep tongues, kidneys, hearts, and 
livers ; ox tails, skirts, ox cheeks, tripes, sweetbreads, and 

Sheep kidneys have been exported from New Zealand and 
Australia for many years past, but owing to the faulty condition 
of much of the goods on reaching the English market this depart- 
ment of the trade has not been so satisfactory to exporters 
as it should have been ; kidneys have always been troublesome. 
An estimate has it that kidneys from stock frozen in Austral- 
asia exported to Great Britain would, if properly prepared, 
be worth from 30,000 to 40,000 annually. 

It was in the packing house of the " beef trust " firms, 
Chicago, Kansas, and now in Argentina, that meat by-products 
were first handled on a thorough and scientific scale. When 
the export of chilled beef to the United Kingdom grew to very 
large proportions, the offal was too much for local consumption, 
so that also was shipped : the trade followed the improvement 
in the refrigerating processes, as the freezing and shipment of 
offal could not be carried on with freezing apparatus in its 
earlier stages. 

In Argentina the trade in meat oddments was started in a 
small way when meat was first shipped, and the business is 
regarded as a necessary adjunct to the main trade. In 
recent years it has developed very largely, but not much 
dependence is placed upon this department. The chief offals 
shipped from South America are, (cattle) tongues, tails, hearts, 
kidneys, and livers ; and (sheep) tongues, hearts, and kidneys. 

Owing to the decrease in the slaughter of pigs in England, 
and the gradual reduction of all sorts of meat products from the 
United States, the prospects for exporters of offal from Australia 
and New Zealand would have been bright but for the regula- 
tions under the Public Health Act, 1907, which inflicted a 
severe blow upon the trade in these articles, and upon frozen 
pork also, boxed or carcasses (see p. 122). These regulations 


may bo said to have severely affected the Australasian trade, 
though South American meat " oddments " may survive on 
account of the shorter voyage. In fact, it has been stated that 
the regulations are an advantage to Argentine meat ' ' oddmen to ' ' 
shippers now they have found out what is really wanted by the 
medical officers. It is a pity that some statistical record of 
this trade has not been kept ; the quantities shipped from 
Australasia and Argentina to England must have amounted 
to quite a respectable proportion to the carcass and quarter 

American Meat By Products. 

The following list of meat "sundries" and offals, which 
exhaustively represents the range of slaughter-house by- 
products of the packing houses of the United States, may be 
useful as a record, and shows what a huge and finely organized 
industry this export business was in the hey-day of its 
prosperity : 

Beef kidneys. Beef stripe. 

liven. .. trimmings, 

tails. Muscles, 

tripe in pickle (fresh). Solid chuck butts, 

frozen tripe (fresh). Loose chuck butts, 

tripe in pickle (cooked). Beef sausages, 

tongues L/C, 8/C, and C/T. Shin beef in 

chcekroeat. Oz suet. 

cheeks. tenderloins. 

heart*. reeds. 

kidney knobs. weasands. 

caul butts. Chuck butt rolls. 

brains. Frozen tripe, cooked. 

Cow udders. Pork loins. 
Beef rounds. roasts. 

rounds and rumps. kidneys. 


sirloin butts. 
Boneless beef. 


shoulder clods. hearts. 


rolls. feet. 

IT rolls. Boneless ham butts and Boston butt* 

fanhattan chucks. Cala butt*. 

Beef chucks. hams. 

rolls. Pork cheek meat. 

Square cat chucks. ., trimmings. 

Hanging tenderloins. Fat backs D/salted, also fresh and 


rolls. Pork livers, salted. 

Smooth mils. ,, ., frozen. 

Skirt* and kidneys. hams, book on. 


Pork hams, hock off. 





sausage meat. 
Skinned hams. 
Green skinned hams. 
Pork shoulders. 


,, hams, boneless. 
Minced hams. 
Green hams. 
Hog chitterlings. 


,, melts. 

Neck bones. 
Lamb plucks. 


,, tongues. 


Sheep plucks, 
Mutton necks, 

Calf tongues, 

heads and feet, 
Boneless veal. 
Frozen tripe in boxes. 
Frozen poultry and game. 







i i % 

- S 



i s 


PH & 

^ & 



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u; j 




oo .35 















12 i 


r ; 



- - -. 

I 81 

3 t 

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S! 1 

s : 

T ii ii T 


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I- Cl X 



it ii 

a w 

II 9 

2 I I 




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. 03 


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2 5 






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1*9 1" TJ "3 >,~i **" 3 . . I I I I I w 

Jo O * .SP * S .3> iS 2oo8'^"S.5rMHMMMMHM 







LONDON. See map, Appendix VI 


Union Cold Storage Co., Ltd., Canada Dock 
Union Cold Storage Co., Ltd., Banestre Street . 
Union Cold Storage Co., Ltd., Williamson Square 
Union Cold Storage Co., Ltd., Albert Dock 

Eastmans, Ltd., Derby Road 

Lancashire Cold Storage Co., Ltd. (Borthwick's), Brunswick 


Bootle Cold Storage and Ice Co., Ltd., Canada Dock (New) 

James Nelson & Sons, Ltd 

Imperial Cold Stores (London Central Markets Cold Storage 

Co., Ltd.) 

North Western Co-operative Cold Storage Co., Ltd., Redfern 

Street, Bankhall. ....... 

Central Cold Storage Co., Ltd. (Ruddin's), Hood Street 
Compania Sansinena de Carnes Congeladas, Sandon Dock . 
Bootle Cold Storage and Ice Co., Ltd., Miller's Bridge (Old) 
Trent Cold Storage Co., Ltd., Sandhill's Lane . 
Canadian Pacific Railway Co., Sandon Dock (1,550 tons) . 
Cumberland Cold Storage Co. ...... 

Eastmans, Ltd., Daulby Street ..... 


William Milne, Ltd., Old Wynd 

Union Cold Storage Co., Ltd., George Street 

Eastmans, Ltd., Cheapside Street 

W. McLachlan & Co., Logan and Bilbao Streets 

Sawers, Ltd., Rutherford Lane 


International Cold Storage and Ice Co., Ltd., The Docks . 
River Plate Fresh Meat Co., Ltd., High Street . 


Union Cold Storage Co., Ltd., Weaste . 
Manchester Corporation Cold Stores, Elm Street, and Smith- 
field Market 

Union Cold Storage Co., Ltd., Miller Street . . . 

in 56-lb. 

of sheep. Totals. 




























Cardiff Pure Ice and Cold Storage Co., Ltd. 

Cardiff Railway Co 

H. Woodley ft Co., Roath Dock Stores .... 

H. Woodley ft Co., Godfrey Street 

Cardiff Railway Co. (chill room accommodating 500 sides 
of beef). 

Cardiff Pure Ice and Cold Storage Co., Ltd. 

Cardiff Pure Ice and Cold Storage Co., Ltd. 

I :!,. 


ofshsH*. TotaU. 









Cambria Cold Storage and Ice, Ltd 25,000 



Union Cold Storage Co., Ltd., Sir William Wright Dock . 200,000 
Compania Sansinena de Carnes Congeladas, Alexandra Dock 54,000 
Union Cold Storage Co., Ltd., Alexandra Dock . . 50,000 

Union Cold Storage Co., Ltd., Blackfriargate . . . 40,000 



Northern Counties Ice Making and Cold Stores Co., Ltd., 

Quayside 140,000 

Eastmans, Ltd 35,000 

Compania Sansinena de Carues Congeladas, The Close . 22,000 
Thomas Brown (Newcastle), Ltd., Newgate Street . . 14,000 



Bristol Corporation Cold Stores (three stores), Avonmouth 

Docks 80,000 

Eastmans, Ltd., Barton Hill 40,000 

Benjamin Perry ft Sons, Ltd., Temple Street . . . 15,000 
Benjamin Perry ft Sons, Ltd., Redcliff Street. (This store is 

mainly used in connection with ice making and storage of 


William Burgess, Welsh Back 15,000 

River Plate Fresh Meat Co., Ltd., Wapping . . . 6,000 

Spear Brothers and Clark. Broad Plain, and 

Pullin, Thomas and Slade, Temple Street, have 

small cooling plants for dairy produce. 


Total cold storage capacity in 56- 1 b. carcasses of mutton . 8,156,481 

K B 



(Map References.) 

Name and Address of Stores. CarStsses 

1. London Central Markets Cold Storage Co., Ltd., W. Smithiield, B.C. . 125,000 

2. London Central Markets Cold Storage Co., Ltd., Charterhouse Street, 

E.C 78,000 

3. Port of London Authority, St. John Street, Smithfield, B.C. . . 95,000 

4. Palmer's Cold Air Stores, Charterhouse Street, B.C 30,000 

5. Times Cold Storage Co., Ltd., Long Lane, E.C 20,000 

6. Compania Sansinena de Carnes Congeladas (private stores), Long 

Lane, E.C 60,000 

7. James Nelson & Sons, Ltd. (private stores), W. Smithfield, E.C. . . 40,000 

8. Colonial Consignment and Distributing Co., Ltd., Nelson's Wharf, 

Upper Ground Street, S.E 200,000 

9. Union Cold Storage Co., Ltd., Upper Ground Street, S.B. . . . 70,000 

10. Blackfriars Cold Storage Co., Ltd., Purfleet Wharf, Upper Thames 

Street, E.C , 130,000 

11. Towers & Co., Ltd. (private stores), St. Paul's Pier Wharf, Upper 

Thames Street, E.C 14,000 

12. Towers & Co., Ltd. (private stores), Brook's Wharf, Upper Thames 

Street, E.C 15,000 

13. Thames Cold Storage Co., Ltd., Kennet Wharf, Upper Thames Street, 

E.C 150,000 

14. Crown Wharf Cold Storage Co., Park Street, Borough, S.E. . . 60,000 

15. Union Cold Storage Co., Ltd., Cannon Street Station, E.C. . . . 220,000 

16. Union Cold Storage Co., Ltd., Bedbull Wharf, Upper Thames Street, 

E.C. 135,000 

17. Kiver Plate Fresh Meat Co., Ltd. (private stores), Commercial Wharf, 

Upper Thames Street, E.C 60,000 

18. The Cold Store, Ltd., Leadenhall Market, E.C 20,000 

19. The Proprietors of Hay's Wharf, Ltd., New Hibernia Wharf, London 

Bridge, S.E 135,000 

20. The Proprietors Hay's Wharf, Ltd., Cotton's Wharf, Tooley Street, S.E. 220,000 

21. Tooley Street Cold Storage Co., Ltd., Tooley Street, S.E. . . . 40,000 

22. Anglo-American Cold Storage Co., Ltd., Greenbank and Stoney Lane, 

Tooley Street, S.E 150,000 

23. J. & J. Lonsdale, Ltd. (private stores), St. Katharine's Dock, E. . 70,000 

24. Johnson, Cole, Brier & Cordrey, Ltd., Bermondsey, S.E. . . . 18,000 

25. Port of London Authority, West Warehouse, Surrey Commercial Docks,'! 

S.E. . . . . . . . . . . . v 75 000 

26. Port of London Authority, East Warehouse, Surrey Commercial Docks, j 

S.E J 

27. Port of London Authority, West India Dock, E 100,000 

28. Port of London Authority, South West India Dock, E. (Dismantled) . 

29. Deptford Foreign Cattle Market (Chill Rooms) 

30. London Central Markets Cold Storage Co., Ltd., Poplar, E. . . 150,000 

31. Port of London Authority, Royal Victoria Dock, E 552,000 

Total cold storage capacity in 56-lb. carcasses of mutton . 3,032,000 



THE following is a list of the shipping lines carrying 
chilled and frozen meat from Australia, New Zealand, and 
South America, to Europe and the East, with particulars of 
the number of vessels engaged in the trade, and their total 
refrigerated capacity in cubic feet. The figures have been 
supplied by the companies. 

Name of Company. 

No. of 

C*pu>lty In 
cubic fWt. 

Aberdeen Lane (George Thompson and Co., Ltd.) . 

Argentine Cargo Line, Ltd. 

Blue Star Line, Ltd 

British India Steam Navigation Co 

British and South American S.N. Co., Ltd. (R. P. Houston 

and Co., Managers) . 

Bums, Philp and Co., Ltd 

Canadian Australian Line ...... 

Chargeurs Reunis 

China Navigation Co., Ltd 

Arch. Currie and Co. ....... 

Eastern and Australian Steamship Co., Ltd. . 

Federal Steam Navigation Co 

Furness, Withy and Co., Ltd 

German Australian Line ...... 

Glasgow Steam Shipping Co., Ltd. .... 

Gulf Line, Ltd 

Houlder Brothers and Co., Ltd. ..... 

R. M. Hudson and Sons ...... 

Imataka Steamship Co., Ltd 

Iiulra Line, Ltd. ....... 

Italian Lloyd 

Lamport and Holt, Ltd 

La Veloce Nav. Italians 

Manchester Liners, Ltd. ...... 

Nautilus Steam Shipping Co., Ltd 

Nelson's Steam Nav. Co., Ltd. I H. and W. Nelson, Ltd., I 

Nelson Line (Liverpool), Ltd. I Managers. | 

New Zealand Shipping Co., Ltd. . . 

Norddeutecher Lloyd ..... 

Ocean Steam Ship Co., Ltd. (Alfred Holt and Co.) 

Orient Steam Navigation Co. 

Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co. (includin 

the Company's Branch Service) 
Royal Mail Steam Packet Co. 
Shaw, Savill and Albion Co., Ltd. 
Shire Line 

Societe Generate Maritime 
Star Line, Ltd. . 
Turner, Brightman and Co. 
Tym Line 

Unione Auatriaca de Navigazione 
White Star Line 





























'..( M) 




























251 43.951.822 

(Reckoning 24 to 8 cubic feat to OM circus of mutton, thi carrying capacity of thne 
251 veu.U may be giwn u 17.M1.000 to 14,051,000 




r 1 

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(,..'...( 1MB 

ol AMMt 


New Kmlanil. 

Sou* Anwrtc*. 

(Chilled bwT). 







































































1 SU3 






1.77. ',,538 





































































































Grand totals from all source*, 4,873,996 tons. 


All the fresh beef from the United States of America arrived in a 
chilled condition (2S F. to 30 F.), excepting some small quantities 
hard frozen by ice and salt mixtures at the start. 

All the fresh beef from Australia and New Zealand arrived in a frozen 
condition, say 10 F. to 15 F. (frequently much lower), excepting five 
experimental shipments in 1909 1911 in the s.s. Marathon under the 
Linley process. Several early experiments in bringing beef from 
Australasia in a chilled state are alluded to in the earlier part of this 

All the fresh beef from Argentina prior to 1900 was brought frozen. 
Column 6 in the table shows the progress of the South American chilled 
beef trade from 1900 onwards. 



THE following is a chronological list of the British patents 
on mechanical refrigeration recorded between the years 1819 
and 1876. In this period of fifty-eight years the most 
interesting efforts in the realm of refrigerating invention 
were recorded ; the field of research was virgin and boundless. 

The particulars below contain only the briefest mention of 
the patents to which they refer. A glance will show the periods 
most fruitful in invention, and will also reveal some names 
famous in the annals of the industry. The various directions 
in which research was made by some of the pioneers is interesting, 
e.g., the records of 1876 show F. P. E. Carre 1 developing the 
ammonia absorption machine, while his brother, Edmond Carr6, 
was patenting vacuum freezing apparatus. No mention is 
made in the list of the many schemes devised for refrigeration 
by ice and salt or other freezing mixtures. 


Jan. 15 (No. 4,331). SALMON, R., and WARRKLL, W. Production of cold and 
condensation or congelation by causing a blast of air to act on the surface of watot 
so as to vaporize it, and then re-collecting the water and repeating the 


Jan. 1 and Aug. 28 (Nos. 4,884 and 5.001). VALLAXCV, J. Vacuum prooev of 
freezing water, employing sulphuric acid. 

Aug. 9 (No. 6,655). WRIGHT, L. W. Ice manufacture by air oompreaaion 

Aug. 14 (No. 6,662). PKREIXS, JACOB. Production of cold by expansion of 

volatile fluids, such as ether. 

May 3 (No. 10,652). Ice manufacture. 



July 3 (No. 13,167). KTNGSPORD, J. Refrigeration by different processes, 
vacuum and also compression, using air or any gas. 

Aug. 22 (No. 13,234). NKWTON, W. E. Refrigeration by air compression 


Oct. 6 (No. 270). GRIMES, J. Refrigeration by ait compression process. 
Dec. 24 (No. 1,166). NESMOND, P. C. Refrigeration by air compression process. 


Jan. 15 (No. 106). VION, H. C. Refrigeration by evaporation of liquids op 
liquefied gas. 

Jan. 20 (No. 147). WILLIAMS, W. Refrigeration by air compression process. 


Nov. 14 (No. 2,559). TOLHAUSBN, A. Ice manufacture by evaporation of wates 
by air currents. 


March 28 (No. 747). HAERISON, JAMES. Production of cold by evaporation of 
volatile liquids in vacuo. 

June 28 (No. 1.522). SLOPER, B. G. Refrigeration by expansion of air. 

Oct. 13 (No. 2,397). PIATTI, G. B. Refrigeration by expansion of compressed 
air, ether, or carbonic acid gas. 


July 29 (No. 2,064). SIEMENS, C. W. Refrigeration by expansion of air or 
elastic fluids. 

Sept. 10 (No. 2,362). HARRISON, JAMES. Ice making by evaporation of volatile 
liquids ; an apparatus requiring " a motive power of ten horses," and containing 
one hundred ice moulds. 


Oct. 15 (No. 2,503). DAVIES. Gi (communication from F. P. E. Carre). Re- 
frigeration by absorption of liquefied gases or condensed vapours. 


July 4 (No. 1,705). MENNONS. M. A. F. (communication from E. Blee). 
Refrigeration by expansion and compression of volatile liquid. 

Nov. 28 (No. 3,005). DE LABAUME, J. D'A. (communication from E. B16e). 
Refrigeration by ether, evaporation, and compression. 


March 21 (No. 782). SIEBE, D. E. Refrigeration by ether, evaporation, and 
April 26 (No. 1,218). KIRK, A. C. Air compression refrigerating machine, 

.\riT.\ni\ xii 

June 17 (No. 1.780). CRWTADORO, A. Refrigeration by cooling effect ol air 
current induced by furnace draught. 

Oct. 15 (No. 2,788). BROOM AN, R. A. (communication from D. J. Kennelly). 
Refrigeration by evaporation of volatile liquid. 


Feb. 15 (No. 387). FOKTAINEMOREAC, P. A. (communication from C. Telliet). 
Manufacture of met hylic ether and its application to production of artificial ice. 

Oct. 28 (No. 2,666). LAIDLAW, D., and ROBERTSON, J. Refrigeration by ait 
compression process. 

Deo. 8 (No. 3,062). BBOOMAN, R. A. (communication from Marcar Beylih'g). 
Refrigeration by vaporization of volatile fluid. 


Sept. 6 (No. 2,292). PARKES, A. W. Arrangement of ioe houses, skating rinks, 
etc., \vhere ice is produced by evaporation of ether, carbonic acid, etc. 

Sept. 28 (No. 2,483). RKECE, R. Refrigeration by the evaporation of liquid 
sulphurous acid (absorption system). 


Jan. 27 (No. 267). MBNNONS, M. A. F. (communication from N. de Telescheff). 
Air compression refrigerating machine. 

Feb. 21 (No. 540). RICHARDSON, B. W. Portable apparatus for freezing small 
quantities of liquid by direct action of pulverized spray of volatile liquid. 


March 30 (No. 952). NIWTON, W. E. (communication from T. 8. C. Lowe). 
Refrigeration or ice making by expansion of carbonic acid gas compressed into 
liquid state. Latent heat evolved during compression removed by water cooling. 

May 31 (No. 1,621). REECE, R. Refrigeration by the evaporation of liquid 
sulphurous acid. 

Aug. 10 (No. 2,303). CLARK, A. M. (communication from J. B. Toselli). 
Refrigeration or ice making by evaporation of liquid or gas (absorption system). 

Sept. 9 (No. 2,544). WELCH, E. J. C. Ice making by evaporation of ether or 
some other hydro-carbon, and its subsequent condensation. 

Nov. 23 (No. 3,323). MORT, WILLIAM (communication from Thomas Sutcliffe 
Mort). Refrigeration by evaporation of ammonia (absorption system). The meat 
receivers are made with " a double casing to form a compartment having its walk 
perfectly tight to contain the liquefied gas supplied from the liquefied gas receiver " ; 
each is surrounded with non-conducting substance enclosed in a painted Of 
varnished wooden covering. 


Jan. 4 (No. 32). SPEXCE, P., and SMITE, W. A. Meat storage for transport, 
cooled " by compression or by the ammonia or other processes." 

March 25 (No. 1,006). LITTLE, R. (communication from D. Little). Meat 
refrigeration on board ship by dry air compression process. 

July 29 (No. 2,384). JEFFREYS, J. Refrigeration by ether expansion. 


Sept. 3 (No. 2,719). KIRK, A. C. (communication from J. Kyle). Ice block 
formation by hydraulic or other pressure in moulds. 

Oct. 26 (No. 3,278). MORT, W. (communication from T. S. Mort and E. D. 
Nicolle). Refrigeration by expansion of air or other permanent gases, also the 
manufacture of ice. 


Jan. 20 (No. 178). SIDDKLBY, J., and MACKAY, F. N. Refrigeration and ice 
making by evaporation of volatile liquid in vacuo. 

Feb. 6 (No. 368). DUFRENE", H. A. (communication from C. Tellier). Ice 
manufacture by methylic ether or ammonia compression. 

March 5 (No. 669). WINDHAUSEN, F. Refrigeration and ice making by air 

March 27 (No. 935). HUCH, E. H. Meat refrigeration on board ship by adap- 
tation of Windhausen's air compression machine. 

July 21 (No. 2,211). KIRK, A. C. Refrigeration by compression and expansion 
of air with two cylinders. 

July 24 (No. 2,249). PiCTET, R. Special construction of pumps for refrigerating 


Jan. 29 (No. 267). WEST, H. J. Refrigeration by evaporation of ether or other 
volatile liquid. 

May 30 (No. 1,579). MIGNOT, L. Air compression refrigerating machine. 

July 1 (No. 1,866). CLARK, A. M. Chloride of ethyl refrigerating machine. 

Aug. 29 (No. 2,363). HUGHES, E. T. (communication from C. Parker). 
Vacuum freezing apparatus. 

Nov. 2 (No. 2,891). REECE, R. Ammonia absorption refrigerating machine. 

Dec. 6 (No. 3,210). MORT, W. (communication from E. D. Nicolle and T. S. 
Mort). Ammonia absorption refrigerating machine. 

Dec. 16 (No. 3,296). GAMGEE, J. Vacuum refrigerating machine. 


Feb. 25 (No. 511). PAGET, F. A., and ASHER, J. W. Air compression re- 
frigerating machine. 

April 14 (No. 992). MURDOCH, H. H. (communication from E. Roettger). 
Air compression refrigerating machine. 

April 20 (No. 1,042). NORMANDY, A. L. Air compression refrigerating machine. 

May 3 (No. 1,189). Refrigerating machine employing certain specified volatile 

June 5 (No. 1,490). MARCHANT, R. M. Multiple stage air compression re- 
frigerating machine. 

July 8 (No. 1,794). KAEUPPER, P. E. Air compression refrigerating machine. 

Aug. 18 (No. 2,173). NORMAN, J. Air compression refrigerating machine. 

Aug. 25 (No. 2,228). PAGET, F. A., and ASHER, J. W. Air compression re- 
frigerating machine. 

Oct. 11 (No. 2,701). MURDOCH, H. E. Air compression refrigerating machine. 

Dec. 22 (No. 3,474). HUGHES, E. T. (communication from A. C. Twining). 
Compression refrigerating machine. 

APrr.NDix XFI 

Jan. 14 (No. 228). Dtmuwi, H. A. (communication from a ToUkr). B*- 
frigsntiiif. apparatus employing volatile agents. 
Jan. 29 (No. 272). WALUK. W. G.- 

June 14 (No. 1,701). Jonaov, J. H. (communication from A. Lemaire MM! 
J. Sonaois). Oompremion refrigerating machine employing volatile agent*. 

June 10 (No. 1,803). ABATE, fi. Method of proeerving met* aboard ahip by 
ratigemting process. 

June 26 (No. 1,035). PURKIS, R. A. Ether refrigerating i*"***^ 

July 24 (Nu. 2,210). LAKE, W. R. (communication from 8. B. Martin and 
J. M. Beath). Compremion refrigerating apparatus. 

Sept. 18 (No. 2,761). HOTTT, B. (communication irom R. Riley). Wetor 
Agitation in ice-making apparatus. 

NOT. 16 (No. 3,422). JOHNSON, J. H. (communication from J. B. J. 
and 8. H. Rouart). Ammonia absorption refrigerating machine. 


Jan. 24 (No. 290). LAKE, W. R. (communication from 8. B. Martin and J. M. 
Beath). Plate ioe- making apparatus. 

Feb. (No. 627). SMITH, F. J. (communication from P. Giffard, A. Sublet, 
and J. A. Jeune). Air compression refrigerating machine. 

Feb. 26 (No. 709). Hydrogen compression refrigerating machine. 

March 5 (No. 793). MORGAN-BROWN, W. (communication from F. Littoiann). 
Ammonia absorption refrigerating apparatus. 

March 28 (No. 1,158). WEST, H. J. Ether refrigerating machine. 

April 14 and 21 (Nos. 1,346 and 1,443). BARLOW, H. B. (communication from 
N. J. Galland). Vacuum refrigerating apparatus. 

July 15 (No. 2,434). WARREN, F. P. Railway and other vehicle refrigeration 
by ether and brine. 

July 23 (No. 2,523). FLEURY, F. G. Domestic ioe manufacture by co-operation 
of ammonia. 

Sept. 26 (No. 3,142). WERTH, F. (communication from F. Windbausen). 
Air compression refrigerating machine. 

NOT. 19 (No. 3,760). HARRISON, J. Construction of refrigerating chambers. 

Dec. 18 (No. 4,161). WBATHBRBY, C. P. N. Combined air and volatile gas 
compression refrigerating machine. 


Jan. 17 (No. 383). HARRISON, J. Improvements on Patents No. 747, 1866, 
and No. 2,362, 1857. 

Feb. 4 (No. 451). WEST, H. J. Ice-making apparatus. 

March 14 (No. 936). MARTIN, D. B. Ice-making and refrigerating apparatus. 

April 30 (No. 1,523). JOYCE, T. L. (communication from J. Selton). Carbonic 
acid refrigerating machine. 

May 4 (No. 1,573). MORT, W. (communication from E. D. Nioolle and T. & 
Mort). Refrigeration of produce in air-tight vessels. 

May 20 (No. 1,873). NEHRLICH, H. Air compression refrigerating machine 

June 4 (No. 1.U40). MAHUiAsr. U. M. Ait compwssioo refriget atinf mccains. 


Jane 17 (No. 2,115). WKATHBBBT, C. P. N. Refrigerating machine employing 
compression of air and also a volatile agent. 

Jane 22 (No. 2,160). HUNT, B. (communication from A. F. C. Reynoao). 
Refrigerated preserving processes, including freezing articles in water. 

July 4 (No. 2,336). WEST, H. J. Ice manufacture. 

July 14 (No. 2,460). BESSOJJ, M. (communication from J. M. G. Beath). Ice 
manufacture on the ammonia compression system. 

July 27 (No. 2,621). GAMGEB, J., and PUBKIS, R. A. Ether refrigerating 

Aug. 10 (No. 2,763). MOBT, W. (communication from E. D. Nicolle and T. S. 
Mort). Ice manufacture. 

Sept. 22 (No. 3,241). KYLE, J. Ice manufacture. 

Oct. 7 (No. 3,425). SIDDKLKY, J., and MACKAY, F. N. Ethef ice-making 

Oct. 17 (No. 3,571). NEILD, H. W. Ammonia absorption refrigerating machine. 

Oct. 22 (No. 3,638). Low, R. Apparatus foe condensing steam and re- 

Dec. 3 (No. 4,152). BBXSON, M. Ammonia absorption refrigerating machine. 

Dec. 16 (No. 4,329). KIRK, A. C., and BEILBY, G. T. Ammonia absorption 
refrigerating machine. 


Jan. 29 (No. 351). WEATHKBBY, C. P. N. Air compression refrigerating 

March 24 (No. 1,073). MACKAY, F. N., and RAE, D. Artificial ice rink. 

May 10 (No. 1,726). SIDDKLKY, J., and MACKAY, F. N. Ice manufacture. 

June 4 (No. 2,064). CLARK, A. M. (communication from P. Giffard). Double- 
acting air compression refrigerating machine. 

June 18 (No. 2,239). WBST, H. J., and DB JACOBI Du VALLON, G. C. J. 
Artificial ice rinks. 

July 3 (No. 2,413). COUGHLUT, D. Ammonia absorption refrigerating machine. 

Aug. 3 (No. 2,727). PICTKT, R. P. Sulphurous acid refrigerating machine. 

Oct. 23 (No. 3,682). GAMGEE, J. Clear ice manufacture. 

NOT. 10 (No. 3,907). STAXLEY, H. F. Ammonia absorption refrigerating 

NOT. 22 (No. 4,054). WHEKLEB, E. G. (communication from D. Coughlin). 
Ammonia absorption ice-making machine. 

Dec. 20 (No. 4,412). GAMGEE, J. Artificial ice rink. 

Dec. 29 (No. 4,519). GAMGEE, J. Ether ice-making machine. 


Feb. 2 (No. 411). GAMGEB, J. Artificial ice rink. 

Feb. 3 (No. 432). STOKES, G. E. Artificial ice rink. 

Feb. 16 (No. 625). Ross, T. Artificial ice rink. 

Feb. 24 (No. 789). MACKAY, F. N. Artificial ice rink. 

Feb. 26 (No. 813). NISHIGAWA, T. M. Ammonia absorption refrigerating 

March 4 (No. 937). CLAMOXD, C. Artificial ice rink. 

March 21 (No. 1,208). MOBT, W. (communication from E. D. Nicolle and T. 8. 
Mort). Improvements in refrigerating, especially applicable for meat cargoes. 


March 20 (No. 1,337). MA cur. F. N. Artificial ice rink. 

April ft (No. 1.458). LutDB, CABL vow. Ice-making machine. 

May 20 (No. 2,219). MABCHAJIT, R. M. Refrigerating rompssssori. 

June 23 (No. 2,601). Wnrra, F. (communication from F. Wicker). Ammoni* 
Absorption ice-making machine. 

Aug. 31 (No. 3,427). NIBHIOAWA, T. 11, and HILL, F. B. Ammonia absorption 
refrigerating machine. 

Sept. 13 (No. 3,593). HURT, B. (communication from A. F. C. Reynoso). 
Refrigerating of aUmentary matters. 

Sept. 13 (No. 3,594). CARRB. F. P. EDOUARD, and JOLLUX, E. Ammonia 
absorption refrigerating machine. 

Oct. 4 (No. 3,837). ADAMS, A. W. Ice manufacture. 

Oct. 26 (No. 4,164). CLARK, A. M. (communication from Edmond Cam). 
Vacuum refrigerating machine. 

Oct. 28 (No. 4,176). GAMOEK, J. Artificial ice rink. 

NOT. 17 (No. 4,446). Know, K. Refrigeration of animal and vegetable 

NOT. 21 (No. 4,504). MARCHANT, R. 11 Refrigerating compressors. 

Dec. 1 (No. 4,659). TONOUK, J. G. (communication from C. L. Riker). Air 
compression refrigerating machine. 

Dec. 8 (No. 4,762). WINDHAUSKT, F. Air compression refrigerating machine. 

Dec. 12 (No. 4,803). SKBNE, R. Refrigerating and ice-making apparatus. 

Dec. 15 (No. 4,859). DC VALLON, G., and CSETK, J. Ice manufacture. 


A 1 C LA USB, 152 

Aberdeen Line, Pint fitted vessels of 

the, 129 

: Ice and Cold Storage Co., 59 
Albion Shipping Co., 89 
Alexander. John. 882 
Alligator Creek Works, North Queens- 

land, 10, 38 

insurance claims, surveys, and, 148 

weight, 104 

Allport and Hughes, 367 

dressed beef trade, 386 

invasion of Smithfield, 190 

meat in London, early prices of, 191 

meat "Trust," 61 
Anchor Line, 336 
Anderson, Gilbert, 67, 275, 851 
Anderson & Co., Gilbert, 352 
Angliss, W., and Co., 67 
Angus, John, 77 
Antwerp, South American depot at, 

Appert, first meat preserved in jars by, 


Arenas thermometer, 343 
Argcnta Meat Co., 210 

and foreign trade, 226 

drought in, 309 

first cattle in, 13 

first frozen meat exports, 76, 308 

first sheep in, 13 

in pre-refrigeration days, 306 
Arcentina's debt to refrigeration, 306- 


cattle import* intolJ. K., stoppage of, 

chilled beef trade, 246 

estates of Bovril. 381 

freezing, early statistics of, 75, 808 

freezing works, total capital of, 309 

live stock export*, start of, 16, 75 

meat at 18rf. per oz., 278 

merino sheep, foundation of the, 91 

mutton, evolution of, 85 

pedigree stock import*, 98, 310 


Argentine contimad 

Bund Society, 15, 27, 91 

sale system in Great Britain, 164 

shipping contract*, 1 i t 

stock, price of, 310 
Argentine Cargo Line, 143 
Armour and Co., 192 
Army contract*. 256, 318 
Annytage, F. W., 33 
Association Internationale dn Froid, 


Atherton's defrosting process, 348 
Auckland Farmers' Freezing Co., 69 
Auckland Freezing Co., 69 
Austral Freezing Works, Ltd., 55, 863 
Australasian Frozen Meat Insurance 

Co., 150 
Australia, what the industry has done 

for, 299-302 

Australian Chilling and Freezing Co., 52 
Australian Company, 36 
Australian Frozen Meat Export Co., 

Ltd., 33 

Australian Meat Export Association, 268 
Australian Mortgage and Agency Co., 55 
Australian Mortgage Land and Finance 

Co., Ltd., 55 
Australian sale system in Great 

Britain, 265 

Australian Steam Navigation Co., 861 

high water mark, and after, 256467 

oldest freezing works, 61 

pioneer shipment, 30 

possibilities, 396 

trade with Great Britain, Growth of, 


Austria, trade with, 233 
Austrian Emperor tastes tinned meal, 

Avonmontb, 218 

BACON'S frigorific experiment, Lord, 376 
Bancroft and frozen meat, Sir Squire, 


Bancroft's " pcmmican," Dr., 4 
Barges, insulated, 346 
Barging system, 1 1 ' 
Barnitt, W. Dyson, 83 

W W 



Bartram, J., and Sons, 58 

Bathe and frozen meat, Sir Henry de, 


ports for chilled, 213 

retailing of, 207 

Steak Club on frozen meat, 316 
Begg, A. C., 267 
Belgium, trade with, 226 
Bell, Sir Henry, 24, 77, 352 
Bell, Sir James, 25, 352 
Bell, Jno., and Sons, Ltd., 209, 265, 352 
Bell-Coleman Mechanical Refrigeration 

Co., 25 
Bell-Coleman, refrigerating machine, 24, 

30, 337, 352 

Berg^s, Dr. Pierre, 29, 76, 79 
Bergl, Australia, Ltd., 37, 49 
Birt and Co.'s freezing works, 50, 71, 87 
Birt, Potter and Hughes, 50, 143 
Bisulphide preserving process, Medlock 

and Bailey's, 5 
Black and Stimpson, 379 
Blackfriars Cold Storage Co., Ltd., 115 
Blackwood and Australian pioneering, 

James, 33 

Blackwood, Richard, 361 
Blanca, La, Soc. Anon, de Viandes Con- 

geldes, 83, 345 
Blankley, William, 332, 352 
Boer War and cold storage, 237 
Boiling down works, 8 
Bone taint, 256 
Boned beef trade, 123, 259 
Borthwick, Sir Thomas, Bart., 353 
Borthwick, A., J., T., and W., 354 
Borthwick, Thomas, and Sons, Ltd., 51, 

67, 71, 221, 241, 248, 265, 353 
Bosanquet, B. T., 37 
Bovril Australian Estates, Ltd., 59 
Bowen Freezing Works, 49 
Bo wen Meat Export and Agency Co., 49 
Boyle, David, 339 
Boys, F. T., 65 

Brady, meat extract process of, 10 
Brands, New Zealand, 109 
Bristol as a frozen meat port, 218 
British India Steam Navigation Co., 38, 

British New Zealand Meat and Produce 

Co., Ltd., 203 

Brydone Hall, Christchurch, 44 
Brydone, Thomas, pioneer work of, 33, 


Brydone's forecast, 44 
Buchanan, Beardmore, 30 
Burdekin River Freezing Works, 50 
Burnand and frozen meat, Sir Francis, 

Butchers, different classes of, 200 

Butchers in the U. K., number of, 208 
By-products in New Zealand freezing 

works, 67 
Byron Bay Co-operative Canning and 

Freezing Co., 56 

CAIED, James, 36 

Cameron, H. C., 203, 270, 355 

Campbell, Gordon, 354 

Campbell, James, and the Strathlevcn, 30 

Campbell, Robert, 375 

Campbell, R., jun., 37 

Canned meat, 

beginning of, 4, 299 

Australian statistics, 11 

New Zealand trade, 12 

vitality of trade, 262 
Canterbury Frozen Meat and Dairy 

Produce Co., 61, 67, 107 
Canterbury lamb 

custom for, 201 

more profitable than mutton, 97 
Canterbury mutton at Lord Mayor's 

Show, 279 

Cape Colony's import duty, 257 
Cardiff as a frozen meat port, 217 
Cargo in coffins, a, 285 
Carre", pioneering work of, 18, 24, 28, 336 
Central Markets (see Smithfield) 
Central Markets Cold Air Stores, Ltd., 


Central Markets Committee, 192 
Central Queensland Meat Export Co., 

34, 36, 47 
Chamberlain and Colonial meat, Joseph, 


Chapman's defrosting process, 349 
Charges, trade, 109 
Chargeurs Rdunis, 143 
Chemical r. cold air systems of refrigera- 
tion, 340 

Chicago Congress of Refrigeration, 276 
Chilled beef 

and frozen beef, comparative merits of, 

first shipment from Argentina, 249 
Australia, 247 
New Zealand, 248 

industry, the start of the, 246, 261 

introduction into England, 25 

ports for, 213 

trade, North American, 261, 273 
Chilled mutton, 247, 264 
Chilling process, the Nelson-Dicks- 

Tyser, 252 
Christchurch Meat Co., Ltd., 61, 64, 107. 

202, 265, 273, 351 
Christison, Robert, 36, 356 
C.i.f. trade, 68, 102, 103, 106, 198 
transaction, the first 108 


Jioneer installation in, 26 
aneiro, pioneer shipment 

,,f. ; 

Claims, surveys, and allowances, insur- 
ance, 148 

Cluu*-, fr..*.Ti in. .it. 147 

Cockburn, Sir John, 68 

Coffins, a cargo in, 286 

Coghlan, T. A., 284, 274 

OOH st..r:i_-o 

capacity at ports, 178 

combine, 177 

general lien, 179 

management rate, 116, 177 

rates, 116 

responsibilities and risks, 178 
Cold Storage and Ice Association, 179 
r..l.l St..r:i_v Tru-;, -.MS 
Cold store 

dividends, 177 

first at London Docks, 164 

first in London, 164 

reaching the, 174 

surveys in, 181 
Coleman, J. J., 25, 335 
Collingridge, Dr. W., 297 
Collins, W. and R., and the Strathltrtn, 30 
Colonial Consignment and Distributing 

Co., Ltd., 115, 170,216,379 
Combrinck and Co., 237 
Comiskey, P., 265 

on combinations in the meat trade, 192 

talesmen, l'.7 

Commissions. Smithfield salesmen's, 102 
Commonwealth Sea Carriage of Goods 

Act, 168 

Compafiia de Carries Congeladas, 79 
Compania Frigorifica de Patagonia, 87, 


Compania Sansinena de Carries Congela- 
das (tee Sansinena) 

Comparative development of Austra- 
lian and New Zealand trades, 46 

producers', 265 

two London, 267 
Congeladora Argentina, La, 80 
Congresses of refrigeration, inter- 
national, 274 

Consignment system, 101, 197 
Consolidated rate, 109 
Consumption, meat 

in Argentina, 311 

in Australia, 316 

in United Kingdom, 316 

in United States, 316 
Continent and frosen meat (w Europe) 
Contracts, Argentine shipping, 144 

Cook, William, 89, 188, SM 
Cooke, John, 64, 61, 64. 235, 299, 367 
Cooke and Oft, John, 84, 60, 66 
Cooking recipe, a frosen meat, 986 t.,r.H. ."...' 

Cordingley, Harold, 10 
Cordingley, Thomas, 10 
OoataWsTfthMn, '.-, '.'7 
Cotton, Sir Richmond, M.P., 87 
Cox, Hon. O. H., 366 
Cox, E. Owen, 60, 359 
Coxon, Frank, 55, 62, 286, 369 
Cnatreros (Babia Blanca) Works, 82, 88 
Cullen, pioneering work of Dr., 886 
Cuningham, Hastings, 31, 33 
Cunningham, Peter, 65 
(\tco, s.s., pioneer shipment by, 34 

DALOBTT and Co., Ltd., 66, 360 

Damage, classification of, 155, 161 

Damaged cargoes, 148, 268 

Dangar, H., first practical tinning by, 8 

Darling Harbour Freezing Works, 19 

Davidson, W. 8., 39 

Dawes, Sir Edwin Sandys, 361 

De la Peyrouse, meat preserving process 
of, 6 

De la Vergne, J. C., 338 

Dead Meat Storage Co., Ltd., 166 

Deane, canning process of, 9 

Defrosting systems, 346, 347 

Deniliquin freezing works, 54 

Dietetics of frozen meat, 290 

Discharging meat, 112 

Distribution, provincial, 211-225, 378 

Docker, Hon. J., 19 

Dorunda't, sj., pioneer Queensland ship- 
ment, 36 

Douglas, J. H., and Australian pioneer- 
ing, 33 

Doxat, E. T., 268 

Drabble, George Wilkinson, 76, 868 

Drabble Bros., 309 

Drought, effect of the great Australian, 

Ducal Line, 38, 363 

Duggan Bros., 278 

Duke of Wettmiiuter, s*. 38 

Dw*td& pioneer shipment, 88, 39, 48 

Duties on frosen meat, 229, 282, 24 1 . : I u 

Duty, Cape Colony's import, 267 

EARLY welcome to frown meat, 282 
East and West India Docks Co., 164, 166 
East London Cold Storage and Supply 

Co.. Ltd., 238 
East, trade with the, 286 
Eastman, Joseph, 209 
Eastman, T. C., 24. 26, 190, 209 
Knt*-tf . Ltd., 209, 862 



Economy of frozen neat diet, 317 
Egypt, trade with, 240 
Elder, James, 45 
Elevator, Captain Noakes's, 113 
Esquimaux pioneers of refrigeration, 276 
Europa, s.s., pioneer shipment of, 33 
Europe and frozen meat, 226-235, 243 
Ewing on principles of refrigeration, 

8ir J. A., 334 
Ewing and Co., Win., 40 

FAIRBAIEN, George, 31, 33, 35 
Falkland Islands, shipments from, 85-7 
Falkland Islands Co., 85 
False trade descriptions, 270 
Farmer's position, the British, 320-328 
Farming, capital in British, 327 
Federal Line, first fitted vessel of the, 


Federal-Houlder-Shire Line, 220 
Fernandez, Don Juan N., 15 
Fetherstonhaugh, Cuthbert, 55 
Fiado, s.s., 35, 38 
Fitter, Henry Shipley, 364 
Fitter and Sons, Henry S., 265, 315 
Fleet, the refrigerated 

Australian lines, 128 

capacity of, 127 

cost of fitting machinery of, 128 

New Zealand lines, 129 

number of vessels in, 127, 264 

sailers used in early days, 131, 132 

South American lines, 140 
Fletcher, W. and R., Ltd., 57. 80, 108, 

203, 209, 265, 365 
Forward buying, 102 
Forward selling, 100, 102 

establishes import regulations, 263 

Sansinena exports to, 82, 245 

trade with, 228, 245 
Freezing works in the world, first, 19 
Freight charges, 109 
Freight contracts, Argentine, 101 
Freight problem, early New Zealand, 66 

Argentine, 136 

Australian, 137 

New Zealand, 136 
Frers, Dr. Emilio, 92 
Frigid message, a, 286 
Frigorifica Uruguaya, 83, 88 
Frigorifico Argentine, 84 
Frigorifico Montevideo, 89 
Fru/nrijique, s.s., 27, 28, 76 
Frozen beef, comparative merits of 

chilled and, 247 
Frozen meat carrier, evolution of the, 

Frozen Meat C.I.F. Buyers' Association, 


Frozen Meat Trade Association (see alto 
Incorporated Society of Meat Im- 
porters), 194, 267, 329-333 
Frozen meat and British farmers, 325 
Fuller, Martin, U.S.A., 26 
Furlonge's defrosting process, 349 
Furness, Withy and Co., 143 
Future of the industry, 393-402 

GALBRAITH, James, 39 

Galloway, Robert, 65, 369 

Gamgee, Professor, meat preserving 
process of, 5 

Gavin, Birt and Co., J., 367 

Gear Meat Preserving and Freezing Co., 
63, 265 

Geddes, J. H., 53, 54, 168, 247, 366 

Geddes, J. H., and Co., 49 

Geddes, J. Robertson, 367 

Geddes, Birt and Co., Ltd., J. H., 367 

Gee, Alban, 10 

General lien, cold stores, 179 

General Produce Co., Ltd., 367 

General Steam Navigation Co., 231 

Genesis of export under refrigeration, 

Germany, trade with, 229 

Germany's advance of duty, 263 

Gibraltar, trade with, 240 

Gibson, Herbert, 14, 306 

Giffard's refrigerating machine, 33, 338 

Gillette, Mr., chilled meat shipment of, 

Gisborne Sheepfarmers' Frozen Meat 
Co., 70 

Gladstone Meat Works, 49 

Glasgow as a frozen meat port, 219 

Glasgow and Co. 's 1851 refrigerating in- 
stallation, 22 

Goldsbrough, Mort and Co., Ltd., 19, 

Goodsir, George, 368 

Gordon, D. J., 58 

Gordon, Woodroffe and Co., 369 

Argentine, 108 
Australian, 102, 111 
New Zealand, 105, 111 

Grain and frozen meat, Mr. Corney,